e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Basic P - Poet Biographies Specific (Books)

  1-20 of 88 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre
2. Lorenz Hart: A Poet on Broadway
3. Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer
4. Shining Eyes, Cruel Fortune: The
5. Enrique Granados: Poet of the
6. Jerry Herman: Poet of the Showtune
7. Codeine Diary : A Memoir
8. Schubert's Poets and the Making
9. Ireland's Minstrel: A Life of
10. Notable Latin American Women:
11. Merton: A Biography
12. May Swenson: Poets Life In Photos
13. Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography
14. The Life and Wisdom of Gwen Frostic
15. Gabriel Fauré: The Songs and
16. Adolf Wolfli: Draftsman, Writer,
17. Down in My Heart: Peace Witness
18. Einstein and the Poet: In Search
19. Authors and Artists for Young
20. Bosie: The Man, The Poet, The

1. Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde
by Alexis De Veaux
Hardcover: 512 Pages (2004-05-03)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$7.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393019543
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The long-awaited first biography of the author of The Cancer Journals, an American icon of womanhood, poetry, African American arts, and survival.

During her lifetime, Audre Lorde (1934-1992) created a mythic identity for herself that retains its vitality to this day. Alexis De Veaux demystifies Lorde's iconic status, charting her childhood in Harlem in the conservative household of Caribbean-immigrant parents; her early marriage to a white, gay man with whom she had two children; her emergence as an outspoken black feminist lesbian poet; and her canonization as a seminal poet of American literature. Lorde's restless search for a spiritual home finally brought her to the island of St. Croix in 1986, where she died after a decade-long battle with breast cancer.

Drawing on the private archives of the poet's estate, personal journals, and interviews with members of Lorde's family, friends, and lovers, De Veaux assesses the cultural legacy of a woman who personified the defining civil rights struggles of the twentieth century. This landmark biography pays homage to one of the most courageous, singular voices of American letters. 16 pages of photographs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Unafraid to Fight
Alexis DeVeaux presents a comprehensive account of self-described feminist, lesbian, and poet warrior, Audre Lorde.The author pulls together a myriad of published documents, unpublished journal entries by Audre Lorde herself, and a host of interviews with personal friends and family members to create a well documented look at the poet's life.The book is divided into two major sections called "lives."The first life begins prior to Audre's birth, and highlights some aspects of her parent's early life, their eventual marriage and move from the Caribbean to the United States.This family background helps readers understand Audre's nearly lifelong quest to come to terms with her relationship with her often emotionally detached parents.This portion of the book also details information about Audre's childhood, educational background, and young adult life.We learn about Audre's marriage to a white, gay, man and their eventual divorce and follow her process of "coming out" regarding her own lesbianism.Her long-term relationship with a white woman, Frances Clayton, and the challenges associated with raising a bi-racial son and daughter in a lesbian household during an era of rampant, overt racism and sexism was also discussed.DeVeaux also takes time to highlight some of Audre Lorde's flaws, thus providing a somewhat more balanced view of the author.Her professional career as a poet develops slowly, and the evolution of her writing career parallels the evolution of her political views and personal growth.

The second section of the book, "The Second Life," continues to explore her career development, chronicles her battles with cancer in more detail, and ends with her death. Audre Lorde supported freedom and equality for all, regardless of race, gender, class, or sexual orientation.However, because of her strong views and personal lifestyle, she often found herself on the fringes.Many white feminists were uncomfortable with her views on race, while those involved in the black power movement tended to be uncomfortable with her feminist ideology and her lesbianism.Yet she used her own struggles, particularly her battle with cancer, as a means to educate, motivate, and inspire.

I enjoyed WARRIOR POET and was impressed by Alexis DeVeaux's attention to detail and the time she spent helping readers understand the social and political climate of the times.There were times when I felt she went a little too far "setting the stage" and wanted to read more about Audre and less about other poets, or politics.Audre seemed to use her identity to take on very public battles for women's rights, gay rights, and so forth.But I found myself wanting to know more about how her children handled their mother's public persona.I also wondered how her very conservative, Catholic mother and her other siblings responded to Audre's lifestyle, and this issue was surprisingly never addressed.In spite of its sometimes academic feel, this is a must read for anyone that wants to learn more about an important literary figure.

Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
... Read more

2. Lorenz Hart: A Poet on Broadway
by Frederick Nolan
Paperback: 416 Pages (1995-11-02)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$26.59
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195102894
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Lorenz Hart singlehandedly changed the craft of lyric writing, transforming the commerical song lyric from one of tired cliches and cloying sentimentality to one with unexpected phrases that would twang the nerves or touch the heart. Endowed with both a buoyant wit and a tender sincerity, Hart brought a poetic complexity to his art penning such memorable hits as My Funny Valentine, Isn't It Romantic?, The Lady is a Tramp, and Blue Moon.

Lorenz Hart: A Poet on Broadway presents the public triumphs of a true genius of the American musical theatre, and the personal tragedies of a man his friend Mabel Mercer described as "the saddest man I ever knew." A veritable who's who of Broadway's golden age, including Joshua Logan, Gene Kelly, George Abbott, and many more, recall their uncensored, often hilarious, sometimes poignant memories of the cigar-chomping wordsmith who composed some of the best lyrics ever concocted for the Broadway stage, but who remained forever lost and lonely in the crowds of hangers-on he attracted.

Skillfully pulling together the chaotic details of Hart's remarkable life, beginning with his bohemian upbringing in turn-of-the-century Harlem, through his early success with Richard Rodgers, and life in Hollywood in the Thirties. He goes on to look at Hart's final decade as one of the undisputed kings of Broadway while simultaneously his personal life disintegrated into a madness of alcohol and self-loathing. This rich work captures the excitement, the achievement, the dizzying heights, and the crushing lows of and American original. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good
Nolan labored under a severe handicap.For some reason, the owners of the copyright on Hart's lyrics would not grant Nolan permission to quote them at length (for some probably very stupid reason).Therefore, Nolan concentrates necessarily on the life.He has done yeoman's work hunting down those Hart acquaintances still alive as well as letters previously unpublished.I think his portrait quite insightful.He manages to contain many of Hart's contradictions.He also keeps Hart's homosexuality in perspective, something rare in our time when writers seem to reduce an artist to his sexual preference.They focus so strongly on the juicy details that they forget the person.Put crudely, I doubt any two homosexuals are alike even in their homosexuality and there are more homosexuals than there are poets of the caliber of Hart.Furthermore, Hart's "natural" homosexuality was hardly yea or nay.He proposed to at least two women who knew of his sexual activities.They turned him down, not because he was homosexual, but because he was alcoholic.

Hart's sex life was undoubtedly a mess (although not necessarily because he was gay).His great fear of loneliness made the rest of his entire life even messier.He was physically unappealing - extremely short, with a head too large for his body and coarse features.With alcohol came oblivion - he drank enough to pass out.Gradually, the drinking caught up with him, and he died in his 40s.Nolan makes it quite clear that Hart had been pursuing passive suicide for several years.

Nevertheless, this is just one side of Hart, and not really the side that makes us, years later, care about him.He was, as Nolan points out, a poet on Broadway.His songs contain some of the finest lyric poetry of the century.His range wasn't particularly great and he wasn't quite the innovator some think him (P. G. Wodehouse and Ira Gershwin did precede him as writers of sophisticated lyrics), but within his emotional bailiwick, he was a master.Nolan shows us that aspect as well.Despite the obstacles thrown in his way, Nolan gives us a sense of Hart's genuine individuality - an attitude, really, of loneliness and realism.Offhand, I can't think of a straight "I love you/You love me" in any of Hart's songs."I Wish I Were in Love Again," "Falling in Love with Love," "It Never Entered My Mind," "Isn't It Romantic," "Spring is Here," "Blue Moon," and "Glad to be Unhappy" concern love lost, love dreamed about, and love maybe.Undoubtedly, Hart had a viewpoint toward the subject skewed a certain way - worried about the fragility of human relations, despite all the surface dazzle of wit.

Nolan makes all of this clear.Indeed, his inability to spend much time with the lyrics themselves pushed him to dig all the deeper into the core of the songs.I really like this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Lorenz who????
If I wanted a book about the Broadway Stage during the period that Larry Hart and Dick Rodgers wrote together I would have highly recommended this book. If I wanted to know about all the goings on of all the actors in all the plays and musicals that occured at that time, again this would have been the book of choice. What I WANTED was to read about Mr. Hart. To read bits and pieces about his personal life throughout the book was to say the least, a dissapointment. Do I feel like I know the man any better? Sure. But I also know as much about Mr. Rodgers. Gene Lee's book on Johnny Mercer, now that was a book about the man and his lyrics! Nuff said.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Read
The book was an exhaustive research on his works, I would have preferred a bit more about what made him as a person and a little more on his hidden life.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Standing Ovation for Lorenz Hart!
Lorenz Hart is one of the finest lyricists in the history of American musical theater.He is largely responsible for elevating the process of writing lyrics into an art form.Before Hart, lyrics were usually trite and predictable with simplistic rhymes such as "I am blue, and so are you."

Hart wrote lyrics that are cerebral and sophisticated.His compositions are infused with wit and wisdom. He used complex rhymes.An example from "My Funny Valentine":"Your looks are laughable, unphotographable. Yet you're my favorite work of art. Is your figure less than Greek?Is your mouth a little weak?When you open it to speak, are you smart?"

Another example from "Bewitched": "I'm wild again, beguiled again, a whimpering simpering child again...."And yet another example from "Lady is a Tramp":"She gets too hungry for dinner at eight.She likes the theater and never comes late. She never bothers with people she hates.That's why the lady is a tramp."

Hart could be wistful and romantic as in "My Romance":"My romance doesn't need to have a moon in the sky.My romance doesn't need a blue lagoon standing by.No month of May. No twinkling star.No hideaway.No soft guitar."

Hart's lyrics are consistently observant and very often ingenious.They are the perfect match for the variety and intricacy of Richard Rodgers' superb music.

This biography is quite detailed with a number of amusing anecdotes.It is a must read for those who want to know more about this endearing, erratic, and gifted artist Lorenz Hart. His contributions to musical theater are profound and timeless. ... Read more

3. Poet Be Like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco Renaissance
by Lewis Ellingham, Kevin Killian
Hardcover: 459 Pages (1998-05-15)
list price: US$40.00 -- used & new: US$24.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0819553085
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The first biography of poet Jack Spicer (1925-1965), a key figure in San Francisco's gay cultural scene and in the development of American avant garde poetries.Amazon.com Review
From the time it first emerged as a renegade liberating voicein the early 1950s, beat writing changed the American social literaryscene. Poets like Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti altered thesound of U.S. poetry while Jack Kerouac's bebop chant--particularly inhis classic On the Road--literally changed how Americansspoke. The beats' fame became so great so quickly that their criticsaccused them of hypocrisy. Not so Jack Spicer; while Ginsberg andKerouac were busy publishing and promoting their work, Spicer--whoseoriginal lyric voice and gay content still resonate today--spent mostof his time disdaining the publishing world and making enemies. InPoet Be Like God, journalist Lewis Ellingham and experimentalnovelist Kevin Killian have produced not only a fully realizedportrait of Spicer, but a complexly woven historical and literarytapestry.Spicer emerges here as a brilliant, difficult, and largelyunlikable man whose talent for writing matched his inability tofunction in the world. Ellingham and Killian are equally concernedwith explicating the San Francisco renaissance and charting theemergence of North Beach as a gay neighborhood; Poet Be LikeGod thus rediscovers Jack Spicer for a new generation of readersand presents us with a unique and startling look at gay and literaryhistory. --Michael Bronski ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Another Tin Ear Review from Kirkus"
In"Poet Be Like God" on the poet Jack Spicer, ever thornily but true to his own unique and innovative poetic vision, Kirkus yet again hits dead middle (with the emphasis on "dead") in displaying its tin ear and mean-spiritedness.Spicer, for all his personal flaws, was, and continues to be, an inspirational and influential poet to young and old writers and readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Spicer's Gnosticism
Spicer and Ginsberg influenced one another, as is clearly shown in this book.Ginsberg stole a lot of his ideas from Spicer, but he was still the greater poet because he touched upon the conversation of his times, while Spicer went whacko and had no real impact on his culture.Academics have taken up Spicer, but this has again had no echo at all in the popular culture.

It's particularly interesting to study the automatic side of Spicer's poetics from surrealism forward -- the relinquishing of choice for a ouija board automaticism that resulted in odd nonsense that probably did not come from the dead, but resulted in an arcane verse that did indeed catalyze some of the lazier aspects of SF poetry but which was a dead end.

Magisterial biography that brings to life a tormented alcoholic who was not even trying to be nice, or even well-dressed, enough, to enter into the public forum.

His best work is the discussions he offered in The House that Jack Built -- astounding to see what he could do when he DID enter into the public conversation.Too often in his poetry he seems to be mumbling to himself.Poets need to reconnect to the real world -- because the world is real -- it has an ecology and texture, and the poets who got this will survive.Others form dead ends into their lost selves.

Gnosticism is a dead end.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading (Not An Exaggeration)
Poets in the 1950s and 1960s have been well served by some of their biographers, and in this thrilling critical treatment of Jack Spicer and the poets of the San Francisco Renaissance, Ellingham and Killian join theranks of Peter Davison (The Fading Smile: Boston Poets from Lowell toPlath) and Bill Berkson and Joe LeSeur (Homage to Frank O'Hara) inmagically capturing the soul of an important school in the poetic fermentof those years. The San Francisco circle around Spicer was intense,prolific and inspired, but they didn't get the publicity that the New Yorkpoets received or that the Beats had showered on them. Lack of mediaattention didn't stop them. They were dedicated to a pure vision of poetryas an almost religious vocation. On his hospital death bed in 1965 (he diedat 40 from acute alcohlism), Spicer told friend Warren Tallman, "I wastrapped inside my own vocabulary." His genius/mania to use thatvocabulary in service of the Muse produced great work and reminded othersof the seriousness of their purpose. Spicer, in all his contradictions anddrives, leaps from these pages. The book as a whole bristles with the veryenergy it celebrates, both poetic and sexual (intrigue was in their blood),and is essential reading for all of us interested in the circles thatnurture poetry in every creative center. As if that is not enough, thequotations from a vast number of interviews of the surviving participantsmake this a delicious oral history as well as a compendium of hair-raisinggossip of the wild times in North Beach before tourists took it over fomartists.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jack Spicer was not a Beat poet.
I have read Poet Be Like God, and I wish neither to rate it (but there'sno option available that allows one to opt out of the rating game) norreview it, but to make a correction to the idiotic Kirkus review: JackSpicer was NOT a "Beat" poet. There were a group of Beat poets inSan Francisco in the late 1950s, early 1960s (e.g.,Bob Kaufman), but Spicerwasn't one of them. His intentions in poetry were different from theirs;naturally, so was his aesthetic. Spicer was part of a triumverate of poetsthat included Robert Duncan and Robin Blaser who met at the end of WorldWar II in Berkeley, Ca., and were sometimes known as the BerkeleyRenaissance group, or more simply, and more accurately, as part of the SanFrancisco poetry scene (which was part of the New American Poetrymovement). That the Kirkus reviewer could make such an elementary andstupid mistake should be taken as a clear indicator of the idiocy of therest of the Kirkus piece of schlock.

5-0 out of 5 stars Important biography of crucial postmodern poet
I find that the Kirkus review available here does ill-service to this important biography of Jack Spicer. One would have no inkling, from reading this review, that Spicer's poetry is one of the most influential sources for postmodern poetry and poetics in the 1990s. It is not some recent academic fad to study Spicer; rather, Spicer has been a crucial poet for many younger writers for over three decades. This biography, published at the same time with his collected lectures, should provide the opportunity for even more serious study of his work. ... Read more

4. Shining Eyes, Cruel Fortune: The Lives and Loves of Italian Renaissance Women Poets
by Irma Jaffe
Hardcover: 429 Pages (2002-01-01)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$60.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823221806
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In this innovative book, Irma Jaffe presents twelve extraordinary women who lived passionately and recorded in poetry their lives during the Italian High Renaissance.

In twelve chapters—one for each woman—Jaffe explores their art and their lives. This copiously illustrated volume offers an unusual insight into how it felt to be a woman in the sixteenth century With 239 poems, both in Italian and in translation, the book also provide a rich critical and historical context. A CD-ROM, included with the book, presents 68 poems recorded in Italian by distinguished. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved every single poem I read!
I'm not just the webmaster of Irma Jaffe (visit at www.irmajaffe.com) but I'm also an admirer of her talent and knowledge of italian poetry and history.I'm very proud of working with you Prof Jaffe!!

5-0 out of 5 stars A dozen great female poets of Italy's history
Written by Italian literature experts Irma B. Jaffe and Gernando Colombardo, Shining Eyes, Cruel Fortune: The Lives And Loves Of Italian Renaissance Women Poets is an impressive compendium chronicling the lives and times of well over a dozen great female poets of Italy's history. The stories and life events hidden behind their most enduring poems are related, and many of the poems are presented in their original Italian as well as English translation. An audio CD with selected poetry readings enhances this remarkable, unique, and very highly recommended addition to Italian poetry and Women's Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists. ... Read more

5. Enrique Granados: Poet of the Piano
by Walter Aaron Clark
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2005-11-17)
list price: US$70.00 -- used & new: US$69.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195140664
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Enrique Granados (1867-1916) is one of the most compelling figures of the late-Romantic period in music. During his return voyage to Spain after the premiere of his opera Goyescas at New York's Metropolitan Opera in 1916, a German submarine torpedoed the ship on which he and his wife were sailing, and they perished in the waters of the English Channel. His death was mourned on both sides of the Atlantic as a stunning loss to the music world, for he had died at the pinnacle of his career, and his late works held the promise of greater things to come. Granados was among the leading pianists of his time, and his eloquence at the keyboard inspired critics to dub him the "poet of the piano." In Enrique Granados: Poet of the Piano, Walter Aaron Clark offers the first substantive study in English of this virtuoso pianist, composer, and music pedagogue. While providing detailed analyses of his major works for voice, piano, and the stage, Clark argues that Granados's art represented a unifying presence on the cultural landscape of Spain during a period of imperial decline, political unrest, and economic transformation. Drawing on newly discovered documents, Clark explores the cultural spheres in which Granados moved, particularly of Castile and Catalonia. Granados's best-known music was inspired by the art of Francisco Goya, especially the Goyescas suite for solo piano that became the basis for the opera. These pieces evoked the colorful and dramatic world that Goya inhabited and depicted in his art. Granados's fascination with Goya's Madrid set him apart from fellow nationalists Albeniz and Falla, who drew their principal inspiration from Andalusia. Though he was resolutely apolitical, Granados's attraction to Castile antagonized some Catalan nationalists, who resented Castilian domination. Yet Granados also made important contributions to Catalan musical theater and was a prominent figure in the modernist movement in Barcelona. Clark also explores the personal pressures that shaped Granados's music. His passionate affair with a wealthy socialite created domestic tensions, but it was also a source of inspiration for Goyescas. Persistent financial difficulties forced him to devote time to teaching at the expense of composition, though as a result Granados made considerable contributions to piano pedagogy and music education in Barcelona through the music academy he founded there. While Granados's tragic and early demise casts a pall over his life story, Clark ultimately reveals an artist of remarkable versatility and individuality and sheds new light on his enduring significance. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Walter Clark Does It Again!
For devotees of Spanish music, Walter Clark's biography on Isaac Albeniz was a hard act to follow, but he's done it again with this biography of Albeniz' contemporary, Enrique Granados.Clark brings both Granados and his music back to life in a brilliant work that sets new standards for musical biography.
-- John W. Milton, author of The Fallen Nightingale, an historical novel based on the life of Granados ... Read more

6. Jerry Herman: Poet of the Showtune
by Mr. Stephen Citron
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2004-08-11)
list price: US$37.00 -- used & new: US$6.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300100825
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The first in-depth biography of
the celebrated composer/lyricist who created Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles

This revealing and comprehensive book tells the full story of Jerry Herman’s life and career, from his early work in cabaret to his recent compositions for stage, screen, and television.

Stephen Citron draws on extensive open-ended interviews with Jerry Herman as well as with scores of his theatrical colleagues, collaborators, and close friends. The resulting book—which sheds new light on each of Herman’s musicals and their scores—abounds in fascinating anecdotes and behind-the-scenes details about the world of musical theater. Readers will find a sharply drawn portrait of Herman’s private life and his creative talents. Citron’s insights into Herman’s music and lyrics, including voluminous examples from each of his musicals, are as instructive as they are edifying and entertaining.

Stephen Citron is well known for shedding fresh light on the American musical theater and the artists who inhabit it. His previous books include Songwriting, The Musical from the Inside Out, and biographies of Noël Coward, Cole Porter, Alan Jay Lerner, Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, Stephen Sondheim, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars More Poet than Person
Let me say first that I am a big fan of Jerry Herman's works.I love his musicals.And that is why I turned with interest to this book.

It is an easy read.It is also an effusive read: Stephen Citron says vry little critical of Mr. Herman.He also goes into in-depth detail on the plot and action of every musical.Much more space is devoted to this than to the backstage developments of how the musical evolved, working with other in the theatre world, etc., and more more space than to Mr. Herman's personal life.It's like a 50s MGM technicular movie: all glossylittle depth.Those who would be interested in this book already know the plots and actions of the musicals, and want something more.I was left wanting that "more".

5-0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL BOOK
This is without a doubt my favorite composer/lyricist of music. I have every score of Jerrys and I love each and every one. I have read this book 9 times so far, and find him to also be a great writer. Follow him in his own words through his life, he's had quite the life too, being lucky to score Hello Dolly at such a young age. He didn't just get lucky, his music is worthy of the fame of his shows. Mame, La Cage and Dolly are the three most popular, but the scores of Dear World, Grand Tour, Mrs. Santa Clause and especially Mack and Mabel are fantastic.

Jerry is honest with his readers, and talks about his downs as well as the ups. The 1960's, he had 3 hits (Dolly, Mame, Milk and Honey), and in the 1970's, 3 flops in a row, though it was not the scores that defeated these shows but production and management issues. Changes were made before Broadway and Jerry discusses this, but also takes the blame for giving in too much and letting his shows go through changes he didn't feel were right. This was probably his mistake with those shows, not putting his foot down and saying no to the producers and directors.

I really enjoy this book. You'll hear about dinners with Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury, his home on Fire Island and the guests he had there, the terrible months being hospitalized for hepatitis, and also his HIV and he talks about a few of his romances.

I wish the book were updated, because I'd love to hear him talk about the last few years. If you love Broadway, this is a wonderful book written with care and hard to put down. ... Read more

7. Codeine Diary : A Memoir
by Tom Andrews
Hardcover: 256 Pages (1998-02-02)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0316042447
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In the tradition of Anatole Broyard's "Intoxicated by Illness", award-winning poet Tom Andrews gives a riveting and often hilarious account of living fully under the shadow of hemophilia--a lyrical and haunted memoir of one man's refusal to succumb to the constraints of his disease Print ads . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Like Mr. Andrews, I have a bleeding disorder.We also share the sad distinction of having to be hospitalized for "bleeds".These are always terrible, trying times.
My god how I wished I'd had this book with me during my last bleed.
Andrews captures the experience perfectly.There is all the fear, the humor, the midnight pleas for more pain medicine, the frustration, the urge to get up and get back to your normal life.It's all there.And without a word wasted.
The loss of Tom Andrews was a tragic moment for poetry, but I will continue to honor his memory by buying as many copies as I can of Codeine Diary (as well as his wonderful poetry collections) and handing them out to everyone I know (especially my patients with bleeding disorders).I know that the world has much to gain from his wise words.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
This novel is at times funny, at other times heartbreaking, but entirely wonderful.It is a shame that Tom Andrews passed away so soon after the publication of this, his first novel.He was a great writer and a family friend who will be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiration for us all
As I read this I entered a world where only 20,000 others are forced to endure in the USA. That world being that of a Hemophiliac. We can never know what suffering is as Mr. Andrews does, but this book has shown us a shocking glimpse of what it's like. I have been awakened from my shallow existence and can now overcome what measly barriers life has given me. Mr. Andrews, thank you for sharing your life with us. I sir take my hat off to you for your courage and wish you nothing but the best of luck in the future! I must also conclude by saying that you are a damn good poet as well, but then again Charles Wright is your mentor. But please do me a favor from now on, try to live a sedentary life for you have much poetry left to write. It would be a shame to deny us of many more years of your wonderful poetry, by risking it all on some reckless adventure. Your life is your own, but remember that you also have a legion of loyal readers that you are now responsible for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Andrews' poetic prose is delightful.
Andrews provides a glimpse inside the personal space of a poet who happens to be a hemophiliac. _Codeine Diary_ is a carefully wrought memoir that reveals Andrews' passion for language and life, and it is this love of language which makes this uniquely witty and introspective book more than personal.It is good that it was written.
- C.M. ... Read more

8. Schubert's Poets and the Making of Lieder
by Susan Youens
Paperback: 404 Pages (1999-08-01)
list price: US$43.00 -- used & new: US$38.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 052177862X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Schubert's choice of poets has traditionally come under fire for the preponderance of mediocre talent, and yet many of these writers were highly esteemed in their day. The author has chosen four such poets--Gabriele von Baumberg, Theodor Körner, Johann Mayrhofer, and Ernst Schulze--in order to reexamine their lives, works, and Schubert's music to their verse. All four poets were vivid inhabitants of a vivid era, and their tribulations afford us added insight into the upheavals, the manners and mores, of their day.Amazon.com Review
The author, a professor of musicology at Notre DameUniversity, examines the lives, times, and oeuvre of four poets whoseverses were set by Schubert: Theodor Koener, Ernst Schulze, JohannMayhofer and Gabriele von Bamberg. The book, while somewhat esotericfor the general reader, offers valuable insights into the poets'styles and the events that shaped their lives and their work. If youhave a strong interest in Schubert and his time, you will find this avery useful volume indeed. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another fine work by Youens
"Simply stated, the book is interesting from beginning to end. Abundant examples from both poetry and music are included along with copious, information-laden endnotes and a substantial bibliography. This very important book is recommended for comparative literature and German language studies as well as music." Choice

1-0 out of 5 stars just too many howlers
Well, what do you expect from a scholar who doesn't even understand German? The author's only forte is endless musing on songtexts. Research? What on earth is that? The bibliography is full of books and articles that Youens has never read in her lifetime. That's all there is to say. ... Read more

9. Ireland's Minstrel: A Life of Tom Moore: Poet, Patriot and Byron's Friend
by Linda Kelly
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2006-09-19)
list price: US$42.00 -- used & new: US$23.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1845112520
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

"He will live in his Irish Melodies, they will go down to posterity with the music; both will last as long as Ireland, or as music and poetry."--Lord Byron
A magnificent evocation of the life and times of a great Irish writer Â- romantic poet, passionate patriot and pioneering biographer. Tom Moore was a student at Trinity College, Dublin, during the doomed Irish rising of 1798 and this experience infused his sense of identity as an Irish Catholic throughout his life.  In this vivid and sensitive biography, Kelly shows how a sense of purpose underpinned his charming and apparently light-hearted character and, at a dark time in its history, made him one of Ireland's most eloquent and persuasive advocates.  Drawing extensively on previously unpublished journals, Ireland's Minstrel brilliantly captures the charm of Whig society and fully explores for the first time Moore's relationship with his closest friend, Lord Byron, from its origins in an abandoned duel to his ground-breaking biography.
... Read more

10. Notable Latin American Women: Twenty-Nine Leaders, Rebels, Poets, Battlers and Spies, 1500-1900
by Jerome R. Adams
 Hardcover: 191 Pages (1995-05)
list price: US$35.00
Isbn: 0786400226
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Detailed here are the lives and achievements of 29 Latin American Women: Bartira, Doa Marina, Isabel de Guevara, Teculihuatzin, Beatriz de la Cueva, Catalina de Erauso, Juana Ins de la Cruz, Micaela Bastidas, Policarpa Salvarrieta, Josefa Oritz de Domnguez, Manuela Senz, Francisca Zubiaga, Leona Vicario, Javiera Carrera, Agueda Monasterio de Lattapiat, Luisa Recabarren de Marn, Gertrudis Bocanegra, Juana Barragn, Mara Luisa Martnez de Garca, Mara Fermina Rivera, Manuela Medina, Leopoldina, Manuela de Rosas, Margarita Maza de Jurez, Laura Mndez de Cuenca, Mara Enriqueta Camarillo y Roa de Pereyra, Esther Tapia de Castellano, Refugio Barragn de Toscano, and Luisa Muoz Ledo. ... Read more

11. Merton: A Biography
by Monica Furlong
Paperback: 327 Pages (1995-11)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$12.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892438290
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Delightful Read
I, too, read this book by Ms. Furlong some years ago in its galley proofs, no less! In my view, it is even a better intoduction to Merton's life than the Seven Storey Mountain. Read Merton's autobio, by all means, but read Furlong first. She situates Merton in his place and times, and although not a Roman Catholic, is very understanding of the monastic life,discipline and spirituality. Furlong apparently didn't have access to as many primary sources as Merton's later biographer, Michael Mott, but she does a splendid job with what documents she had in hand. She is especially compassionate, and forgiving, with Merton's love affair with his nurse. Mott goes into more detail on this interesting chapter of Merton's life, but it is easy to understand - reading both authors - why it happend and how it gives him an even greater appeal as an authentic American mystic and saint to the rest of us poor Christians.Although this will never be recognized, unfortunately, at the Vatican. Well worth reading as an introduction to the life of a great American Catholic and mystic. Read about Merton in this order: Furlong, Merton & Mott!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Entrance!
I read this book some years ago.I feel in love with the book: from beginning to end.I strongly recommend it to the fun-loving spiritual minded.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly-recommended
For anyone interested in the spiritual development of Thomas Merton, thisis an excellent book. Furlong tackles her subject with sympathy andinsight. Like Merton, she writes clearly, directly and truthfully. A gem. ... Read more

12. May Swenson: Poets Life In Photos
by R. R. Knudson
Hardcover: 176 Pages (1997-01-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$19.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0874212189
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

This personal biography of May Swenson, written by R. R. Knudson, her longtime companion, celebrates her as one of America's most imaginative and vital poets of the mid-20th century. With more than 160 photographs, if offers a rich, personal look at ther life through the letters and journals left by the beloved poet herself and by those who knew her best. Includes an anthology of 30 poems.
... Read more

13. Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi'kmaq Poet (American Indian Lives)
by Rita Joe
Paperback: 199 Pages (1996-05-28)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$7.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0803275943
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Here is the enlightening story of an esteemed and eloquent Mi’kmaq woman whose message of “gentle persuasion” has enriched the life of a nation.

Rita Joe is celebrated as a poet, an educator, and an ambassador. In 1989, she accepted the Order of Canada “on behalf of native people across the nation.” In this spirit she tells her story and, by her example, illustrates the experiences of an entire generation of aboriginal women in Canada.

Song of Rita Joe is the story of Joe’s remarkable life: her education in an Indian residential school, her turbulent marriage, and the daily struggles within her family and community. It is the story of how Joe’s battles with racism, sexism, poverty, and personal demons became the catalyst for her first poems and allowed her to reclaim her aboriginal heritage. Today, her story continues: as she moves into old age, Joe writes that her lifelong spiritual quest is ever deepening.

... Read more

14. The Life and Wisdom of Gwen Frostic
by Sheryl James
Hardcover: 110 Pages (1999-07)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$26.02
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1886947856
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Her Life and Her Books Inspire
After having fallen in love with Gwen Frostic's creative books of prose illustrated with beautiful nature prints, I wanted to find out more about the woman and artist who crafted these treasures.Author Sheryl James does an excellent job rounding out the picture of the creator of these simple treasures, especially given that she had little direct information from Gwen Frostic herself, who did not really care to have a biography written.Heavily relying on bits and pieces of personal history andbackground information from Gwen's family members, Ms. James compiles a flowing account of the life of this exceptional woman.Gwen Frostic stood out from the crowd, followed her heart, and brought joy to so many through her artistry, and, in the process, brought happiness and prosperity to herself.Gwen's lovely books inspire in and of themselves.Her life story and accomplishments are inspirational, too.Especially for the Gwen Frostic fan, this biography is a must read!

3-0 out of 5 stars Complete your Frostic Collection
A great woman...an informative read.

5-0 out of 5 stars A source of inspiration
Gwen Frostic has been an icon for as long as I can remember going to her wonderful shop in Benzonia, Michigan.Incredible artwork, a very nice business (in the middle of nowhere!), but I always wanted to know moreabout her....why she was so successful, how she has overcome her handicap(what did she have)...she is so inspirational, and to know how and why isinspirational to me as well.

This book should become a classic. ... Read more

15. Gabriel Fauré: The Songs and their Poets (Guildhall Research Studies)
by Graham Johnson
Hardcover: 488 Pages (2009-10-01)
list price: US$89.95 -- used & new: US$64.04
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0754659607
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The career of Gabriel Faure as a composer of songs for voice and piano traverses six decades (1862-1921); almost the whole history of French melodie is contained within these parameters. In the 1860s Faure, the lifelong protege of Camille Saint-Saens, was a suavely precocious student; he was part of Pauline Viardot's circle in the 70s and he nearly married her daughter. Pointed in the direction of symbolist poetry by Robert de Montesquiou in 1886 and admired by Proust, Faure was the favoured composer of the Princesse de Polignac by the early 1890s. In 1905 he became Director of the Paris Conservatoire and he composed his most profound music in old age. His existence, steadily productive and outwardly imperturbable, was undermined by self-doubt, an unhappy marriage, and a tragic loss of hearing. The distinguished accompanist and song scholar Graham Johnson places the vocal music within twin contexts: Faure's own life story, and the parallel lives of his many poets. We encounter such giants as Charles Baudelaire and Paul Verlaine, the patrician Leconte de Lisle, the forgotten Armand Silvestre and the Belgian symbolist Charles van Lerberghe.The chronological range of the narrative encompasses Faure's first poet, Victor Hugo, who railed against Napoleon III in the 1850s, and the last, Jean de la Ville de Mirmont, killed in action in the First World War. In this comprehensive and richly illustrated study each of Faure's 109 songs receives a separate commentary. Additional chapters for the student singer and serious music-lover discuss interpretation and performance in both aesthetical and practical terms. Richard Stokes provides parallel English translations of the original French texts. In the twenty-first century musical modernity is evaluated differently than it was thirty years ago. Faure is no longer merely a 'Master of Charms' circumscribed by the Belle Epoque. His status as a modern master of timeless significance is now unassailable. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A reference guide to cherish
Don't let the term "Research Studies" put you off. This is anything but a dry academic textbook. Although it is a scholarly work, packed with all kinds of information -- musical, cultural and historical -- the information is always presented in a very readable, approachable and personal way, which makes it as much a book to dip into for pleasure as one to consult for reference. The text is informative without being overly didactic. It is humorous and at times witty but not exaggeratedly so. Johnson often voices his personal opinions but is never opinionated or patronising. His sympathy with Fauré and love of his songs shine through. What adds value to this book is that it is written from the perspective of someone with a lifetime's performing experience of the works discussed, rather than from that of a musicologist who's good on theory but has never ventured onto a concert platform to play or sing them. It is a happy bonus that Johnson's writing style is so elegant. The book takes the reader on a journey through Fauré's life via his songs, pretty much in chronological sequence. Johnson divides up the life and songs in fourteen chapters. A couple more chapters deal with general considerations relating to style and performance. There are rehearsal notes for each song with information on metronome markings and suggested tempi. Of particular interest are the insights on Fauré's own tastes and performance practice, and some fascinating observations from some of the singers with whom the composer worked, as well as those of contemporary composers and literary figures of the period. One Appendix deals with opus number groupings and another discusses tonalities. A general index is followed by an index of poets and settings and a further index of song titles. Richard Stokes' translations are excellent, striking a nice balance between the literal and the literary.

The physical book itself is a joy to handle. The paper is thick and smooth (a good choice for optimum reproduction of the many photographs), the typefaces are crisp and clear and there are illustrations (all black and white) on almost every other page. My only quibble is that the back is glued not sewn. The illustrations consist mainly of contemporary photos and portraits, reproductions of the covers of first editions and musical examples or extracts. The illustrations are generally no larger than quarter-page in size, so there is no sense of being cheated of text. Far from it, the 427 pages of text before you get to Appendixes and Indexes will keep any devotee of Fauré happy for a long while. It seems that Johnson has covered every aspect. The amount of research that has gone into this expensive book makes it worth the price to any singer or pianist. It's not just a book one ought to own, it's a book that is a rare treat to have, to hold and to cherish. ... Read more

16. Adolf Wolfli: Draftsman, Writer, Poet, Composer (Cornell Studies in the History of Psychiatry)
by Adolf Wolfli
Hardcover: 252 Pages (1997-06)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$47.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0801434033
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The enormous pictorial, literary, and musical work of AdolfWolfli (1864-1930), the classic master of Art Brut, came into beingexclusively during his thirty-five-year internment in a mentalasylum. Diagnosed, perhaps wrongly, as a paranoid schizophrenic,Wolfli organized his work into an increasingly grand narrativestructure that exerts a profound and lasting impact on readers andviewers with its intense visionary imagery. This is the first book toencompass all of Wolfli's work, including his writings and musicalcompositions.

The authors approach the phenomenon Wolfli from a variety ofperspectives that delineate and clarify the structure of the artist'swork and assess its connections to modern art. The chronology andcomposition of his work are presented in the context of arthistory. Text analyses bring new understanding to his writing. Hiscosmic experiences and the elaboration of his number systems are seenin relation to philosophical concepts.

Beautifully designed and lavishly illustrated, this volume traces thepath of Wolfli's art on its long road from the asylum to themuseum. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars An art book in black and white...
It's a shame that one of the few recent books on Adolf Wolfli is primarily made up of black and white reproductions of his art work. How is the viewer supposed to fully appreciate the qualities of the art when the color is missing? A more recent book on Wolfli, The Art of Adolf Wolfli : St. Adolf-Giant-Creation, is a much better attempt at covering Wolfli's artistic output. While not perfect, most of the reproductions are in color and at this date and time, offer the best access to Wolfli's art in color.

4-0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Intensity
Although not the definitive volume on Adolf Wolfli, this is the most comprehensive and satisfying compilation of his work to date, including 186 illustrations and a collection of essays. As the title suggests, the book gives a well rounded view of his accomplishments as a draftsman, composer, writer, and poet. Wolfli, who is considered to be an artistic genius, is examined in the context of art history and as a psychological phenomenon.

The artist spent most of his life in Switzerland's Waldeau Asylum. The mystery surrounding his work is that he did not begin producing art until 4 years after being committed. Although he had no formal training as an artist and no previous interest in drawing, he spent his 35 years at Waldeau producing a prolific (almost unbelievable) amount of work. He created more than twenty five thousand pages of drawings, prose, and musical scores depicting imaginary travels, poetry, landscapes, intricate maps, philosophies, personal mythologies, scientific theories, complex mathematical systems, and cosmic battles. Wolfli worked in pencil on simple newsprint paper and then meticulously bound the pages into books. The quality of the work is impressive considering the inferior materials available in a hospital environment. He also seems to have predicted many of the ideas that have become popular in contemporary art, immortalizing Campbell's soup advertisement thirty years before Andy Warhol's infamous silk screen.

The work itself is rich with ornament and symbolism. It is as beautiful as it is compulsive and strange. The consistent theme in his paintings appears to be an autobiographical account with alternating realities. His crimes and other actual events are depicted along with a fantastic and exaggerated version of himself as the hero of an epic adventure. The essays speculate on the meaning of his illness in relationship to his art and seem to raise more questions than they answer. It is fascinating to read, and through these reproductions and insights, we are assured that understanding is not a requirement for appreciating Wolfli as an artist. ... Read more

17. Down in My Heart: Peace Witness in War Time (Northwest Reprints)
by William Stafford
 Paperback: 94 Pages (2006-03-30)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0870710974
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Presaging the 1960s.
Stafford's poetry is beautiful and concise.His pacifism, appreciation of nature, and interest in eastern mysticism presage many of the major movements of the late fifties through early seventies.

Yet Stafford's voice lacks the selfishness which would sometimes blight these later movements.Instead of struggling egoistically against an unjust war, Stafford represents an innocent-minded struggle against war of any kind, but grounded in the work-ethic of depression era America.

(Aside:Kim Stafford's introduction to her father's work is every bit as interesting as the main text.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful people's poets
Oregon's poet laureate William Stafford unassumingly answered the phone, "Bill" and wrote lovingly wrote of mother, father, a moment in his life. Simple, but not simplistic, his poetry draws deep from the wellof the everyday. This collection includes the poem Stafford wrote the dayhe died. How typical of this extraordinary, ordinary man to keep on givingto the end! ... Read more

18. Einstein and the Poet: In Search of the Cosmic Man
by William Hermanns
Hardcover: 158 Pages (1983-04)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$25.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0828318514
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

19. Authors and Artists for Young Adults: A Biographical Guide to Novelists, Poets, Playwrights Screenwriters, Lyricists,Illustrators, Cartoonists, Animators, & Other Creative Artists
by Thomas McMahon
 Hardcover: 232 Pages (1996-07-26)
list price: US$160.00 -- used & new: US$160.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0810399423
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

20. Bosie: The Man, The Poet, The Lover of Oscar Wilde
by Douglas Murray
Paperback: 384 Pages (2002-06-19)
list price: US$13.75 -- used & new: US$6.72
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786887702
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Lord Alfred Douglas, or 'Bosie' as he was known , is destined to be remembered as the lover of Oscar Wilde. Dissolute, well-born and beautiful as a young man, his role in the events that led to Oscar Wilde's trial and imprisonment determined the strange celebrity which haunted him until his death. Biographies of Wilde generally give only a cursory account of what happened to Douglas after Wilde's death, but Bosie recounts the full and absorbing story of his complex life. A successful though now obscure poet, he renounced homosexuality after converting to Roman Catholicism and embarked on an ill-fated marriage to Olive Custance. Lord Alfred's time was largely consumed by his growing interest in religion and costly feuds - he was imprisoned for libeling Winston Churchill - and he died a neglected and lonely figure in 1945.

Douglas Murray has had unprecedented access to many letters and key literary manuscripts, and presents evidence which casts a new light on the relationship between Wilde and Bosie. Indeed, Murray has succeeded where Bosie himself failed in securing the release of a British government file which was to be sealed until 2043. The result is a genuinely groundbreaking biography, and the definitive account of a fascinating life.Amazon.com Review
Almost everyone knows what Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas meant by "the Love that dare not speak its name"--but what happened after that name was dragged into court? In Oscar Wilde's case, his affair with Douglas, that minor poet and major pretty boy, was as neatly resolved as the Greek tragedy it resembled. Just three years after his release from prison on charges of "gross indecency," Wilde died broken, impoverished, and alone in a Parisian hotel. But Bosie himself lived on for nearly 45 contentious years after Wilde's death: an entire lifetime, in effect, during which he married, converted to Catholicism, conducted an epic feud with Wilde's literary executor, Robert Ross, and renounced everything about his former life, including Wilde himself.

In Bosie, Douglas Murray has used previously unavailable letters and manuscripts to construct a nuanced portrait of the aesthetes' golden boy, including his second life as a devoutly undecadent squire. Born into an ancient family with a memorably lunatic streak, Lord Douglas as a young man was charming, dissolute, and almost preternaturally handsome. (Jude Law played him in the 1998 film Wilde, and the resemblance is uncanny.) Regrettably, his gift for scandal often overshadowed his other talents; Murray for one is convinced that Douglas was one of the great English poets of his time, a master of the sonnet form who has been shamefully neglected by scholars and readers alike. Here, then, is the real tragedy: if Douglas had lived less he might have been remembered more.

Yet Murray doesn't mince words about the nastier sides of Douglas's nature either: Bosie was a snob, a raving anti-Semite, and like his unbalanced father, prone to destructive rages. One might well say, as James Agate did about Douglas's Autobiography, that his life story is "a record of some pretty good quarrelling." That's characteristic English understatement for you: Douglas seems to have spent much of his life in court, either suing or being sued for libel. Wilde's trial set a pattern Bosie seemed obliged to repeat until he himself was sent to jail after yet another libel charge (instigated by Winston Churchill, of all people) finally stuck. Wormwood Scrubs in the 1920s was no picnic, and Douglas emerged a humbled man; towards the end of his life, he even achieved a measure of reconciliation with his younger self. Murray skillfully conveys the pathos of these final years--like Wilde's, lonely and poverty-stricken, but unlike Wilde's, largely forgotten. This groundbreaking biography does much to correct that historical oversight, and in doing so, provides a fascinating account of one of poetry's most complex personalities. --Mary Park ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars A brave reassessment based on previously unavailable source material
There are a number of reasons why "Bosie" is a remarkable book--even setting aside the youth of the author. (He was 14 when he began the research and 20 when this biography was published.) First, Murray somehow gained the confidence of the surviving family members related to Lord Douglas and his circle, and he enjoyed unprecedented access to both reminiscences and documents. In addition, the author managed to secure the release of the British government files from Douglas's imprisonment--papers that, by law, were to remain sealed for another half century. And third (and foremost), he has upended the portrait of Lord Douglas written by one of the twentieth century's foremost scholars, Richard Ellmann.

As readers of the now-standard biography of Oscar Wilde know, Ellmann portrayed Douglas as a manipulative yet beautiful cipher with not much in the way of wit or intelligence. Murray, in contrast, depicts Douglas as a worthy companion to Wilde (in spite of their frequent and legendary spats) and an artist in his own right. While certainly not on a par with Wilde, Douglas produced a respectable body of work and was, during his life, an appreciated (if litigious) editor. A true assessment of Douglas's worth, I think, would fall somewhere in between these two portraits, although Murray's book contains the more well-rounded assessment: while trying to revive Douglas's reputation, it does not try to whitewash his notoriety and imprudence.

Indeed, most readers will share Murray's fascination with Lord Douglas's life. Even after Wilde's death and Douglas's conversion to Catholicism and renunciation of homosexuality, Douglas refused to fade away, becoming "a man who confessed that he was popularly believed to revel in litigation." And litigate he did: the dramatis personae of Douglas's court cases are a veritable who's who of the English literary scene, and the parade of libels and lawssuits culminates in a bizarre and foolish challenge to none other than Winston Churchill.

Although Douglas's life is perversely intriguing, I am hard-pressed to share Murray's enthusiasm for the poetry itself--and this, of course, may be more a matter of taste than of intrinsic worth. Douglas's oeuvre divides rather neatly into three categories: nonsense verse (mostly for children), biting--and often nasty--lampoons, and staunchly traditional sonnets and lyrics. The first group is best forgotten, and the second is (naturally) dated; it is in the last group where one can find the occasional gem, the memorable stanza, the well-turned phrase. The most famous of these poems, because of its notoriety, will always (and justifiably) be "Two Loves," with its celebrated closing line: "I am the Love that dare not speak its name." Murray also rediscovers for the reader a few other notable pieces. But, in spite of the handful of contemporaries who touted the "belief that Douglas ranked as a sonneteer with Shakespeare," a few clever lines and outstanding verses does not a master make.

Murray does, however, raise a valid point. As with Douglas's life so with his poetry; the man was his own worst enemy even when it came to his literary reputation. While Douglas was threatening, cajoling, and suing most of his enemies and many of his friends, he also spent three decades inveighing (rather vituperatively) against modernism. Auden, Eliot, Isherwood, Pound, Yeats, H. G. Wells, D. H. Lawrence--he regarded them all as barbarians at the gates. His taste proved to be obstinately backward-looking, and his outspokenness not only brought into question the relevance of his own verse but also helped to reveal him as a bit of a dinosaur. In many ways, his verse was a hundred years behind the times, but had he been born a century earlier, his meager output still would have been eclipsed by the poetry of Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, Shelley, and even the lesser Romantic poets. Nevertheless, Douglas's life and his poetry are deserving of this valuable and refreshingly lively reassessment.

4-0 out of 5 stars More than second fiddle!
'Bosie' paints as rounded a picture of a character known usually for his supporting role in the Oscar Wilde circus as is possible for a subject widely viewed as having little worth beyond his time with his lover and muse. As a first book for so young a writer, Douglas Murray has done us the inestimable favour of elucidating from Lord Alfred Douglas' poetry, letters and other writings the flawed character and lesser talent of someone significantly more interesting than the two-dimensional upper-class arm candy he is frequently portrayed as. Having burnt his first flame in the dazzling candelabra of Wilde's celebrity, Bosie is so often overlooked and dismissed. Murray's thorough research and ample quotation from Bosie's life and works independent of Wilde cannot but help an enquiring reader to a better understanding of their relationship and of the bearing that Bosie's family had on Wilde's fate. This is all the more remarkable for coming from a writer so close in age, and convceivably the outlook of a yet-to-mature individual, to his subject than most other biographers. I look forward eagerly to Douglas Murray's future work.

5-0 out of 5 stars And suddenly the love that wouldn't shut up
Having read The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde by Joseph Pearce, I decided that it would be interesting to know more about the person who is made out to be the villain in Oscar Wilde's downfall.

Bosie by Douglas Murray is a detailed book chronicling the life of Lord Alfred Douglas.It is a detailed account of a man hounded by family traits, his own desires, repentence, regrets and sad ending.It really is unfair to blame Alfred Douglas for Wilde's downfall.Wilde, if anything, was self destructive and not only destroyed himself, but everyone around him, including his wife and children, as well as Alfred Douglas.Murray is clear that upon renouncing his wasted and immoral youth Douglas became a moralist, like the father he hated, and became addicted to litigating every slight made against him.Wilde's circle of friends and admirers needed someone to blame for his demise, so they picked Lord Alfred Douglas.This book shows that like all moralists Douglas became paranoid and biased, but later in life did truly repent and apologized for all the harm he had done.He died penniless, alone and very, very sad. Like Wilde, Douglas's actions also destroyed his marriage and the life of his child.Bosie by Douglas Murray is required reading for all those who want to make up their own minds on Oscar Wilde and know more about the man who figured so prominently in Wilde's life.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good biography, but not the best
While Douglas Murray had access to Douglas family materials heretofore unavailable, he of course did not have access to Bosie Douglas himself. But another, now deceased scholar of all things Wildean, Rupert Croft Cooke, did. Cooke, author of dozens of novels, biographies and other books, knew Lord Alfred Douglas when he, Cooke, was a youngster. As a result, his book, entitled Bosie: Lord Alfred Douglas, His Friends and Enemies, gives an intimate look at Bosie in more mellow old age. Cooke, a former newspaperman in the glory days of Fleet Street, was also a much more lively writer than Douglas Murray. His book is out of print, but can commonly be found in used book shops.

5-0 out of 5 stars BiographyAtItsBest
I was stunned by the quality of Mr. Murray's writing.

Mr. Murray enables the reader to feel as if he knows Bosie, understands Bosie, and has been a witness to Bosie's life himself.Bosie's life as well as his relationship with Oscar is so well written that the reader understands the spirit and tone of the life and the relationship.Very well done !!! ... Read more

  1-20 of 88 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats