Christopher Fry

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Fry, Christopher,

1907–2005, English dramatist, b. Bristol as Christopher Fry Harris. Like his friend and mentor, T. S. EliotEliot, T. S.
(Thomas Stearns Eliot), 1888–1965, American-British poet and critic, b. St. Louis, Mo. One of the most distinguished literary figures of the 20th cent., T. S. Eliot won the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature. He studied at Harvard, the Sorbonne, and Oxford.
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, he was one of the few 20th-century dramatists to write successfully in verse. Fry's first major success was The Lady's Not for Burning (1949), a wry comedy set in the Middle Ages in which love overcomes prejudice and hypocrisy. His other works include Venus Observed (1950), The Dark Is Light Enough (1954), Yard of Sun (1970), and English versions of plays by Anouilh (Ring Round the Moon, 1950, The Lark, 1955), Giraudoux (Tiger at the Gates, 1955), Ibsen (Peer Gynt, 1970), and Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac, 1975). Among his screenplays were Ben Hur (1959; Academy Award) and The Bible (1966).


See his autobiography (1978); studies by E. Roy (1968), S. M. Wiersma (1970), and G. Leeming (1990).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fry, Christopher


Born Dec. 18, 1907, in Bristol. English playwright and theatrical figure.

Fry has written a number of comedies in verse that explore Christian themes, including The Boy With a Cart (1939), The Firstborn (1946), Thor, With Angels (1949), and A Sleep of Prisoners (1951). The plays reveal the influence of the poet and playwright T. S. Eliot. Fry’s poetic style permits the blending of lofty rhetoric and witty dialogue, as well as fantasy and reality. He makes extensive use of symbolism, various levels of meaning, and reflections on the past. He is also the author of the historical drama Curtmantle (1961), musical revues, and screenplays. Fry has also adapted plays by J. Anouilh and J. Giraudoux.


Venus Observed. London, 1950.
A Phoenix Too Frequent. London, 1946.
A Yard of Sun. New York, 1970.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1958. Pages 700–01.
Ivasheva, V. V. Angliiskaia literatura XX v. Moscow, 1967. Pages 394–95.
Roy, E. Christopher Fry. London-Amsterdam [1968].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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