|Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch|
November 21 1863|
Bodmin, Cornwall, England
|Died||May 12 1944(aged 80)|
|Occupation||Poet, novelist, critic|
|Education||Newton Abbot College, Clifton College|
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Oxford|
|Notable work(s)||Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250–1900|
|Notable award(s)||Knight Bachelor (1910), Bard of Gorseth Kernow (1928)|
Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (21 November 1863 - 12 May 1944) was an English poet and literary critic from Cornwall, who published under the pen name of Q. He is primarily remembered for the monumental Oxford Book Of English Verse, 1250–1900.
Arthur was born at Bodmin in Cornwall to the union of 2 ancient local families, the Quiller family and the Couch family, and was the third in line of intellectuals from the Couch family. His younger sisters, Florence Mabel and Lilian M., were also writers and folklorists. His father, Dr. Thomas Quiller Couch (d. 1884), was a noted physician, folklorist and historian (see The Gentleman's Magazine). His grandfather, Jonathan Couch, was an eminent naturalist, also a physician, historian, classicist, apothecary, and illustrator (particularly of fishes) in the style of the time. His son, Bevil Brian Quiller-Couch, was a war hero and poet, whose romantic letters to his fiancée, the poet May Wedderburn Cannan, were published in the beautiful but tragic Tears of War. He also had a daughter, Foy Felicia, to whom Kenneth Grahame inscribed a first edition of his The Wind in the Willows attributing Quiller-Couch as the inspiration for the character Ratty, auctioned by Bonhams on Tuesday 23 March 2010 for £32,400.
On taking his degree in 1886 he was for a short time classical lecturer at Trinity. After some journalistic experience in London, mainly as a contributor to the Speaker, in 1891 he settled at Fowey in Cornwall.
Literary and academic careerEdit
While he was at Oxford he published (1887) his Dead Man's Rock (a romance in the vein of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island), and he followed this up with Troy Town (1888) and The Splendid Spur (1889). Quiller-Couch is well-known for his story "The Rollcall of the Reef", based on the wreck of the HMS Primrose in 1807.
From his Oxford days he was known as a writer of excellent verse. With the exception of the parodies entitled Green Bays (1893), his poetical work is contained in Poems and Ballads (1896). In 1895 he published an anthology from the 16th- and 17th-century English lyricists, The Golden Pomp, followed in 1900 by the Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250–1900 (1900). (Later editions of this extended the period covered up to 1918 and it remained the leading general anthology of English verse(Citation needed) until Helen Gardner's New Oxford Book of English Verse appeared in 1972.) (Of the original edition nearly half a million copies were issued according to the introduction to the NOBEV, 1972. The extended edition appeared in 1939.)
In 1910 he published The Sleeping Beauty and other Fairy Tales from the Old French. He was the author of a number of popular novels with Cornish settings (collected edition as 'Tales and Romances', 30 vols. 1928–29).
In 1912 he was appointed to the King Edward VII Professorship of English Literature at the University of Cambridge in 1912, and simultaneously elected to a fellowship of Jesus College, Cambridge; both positions which he held until his death. His inaugural Cambridge lectures were turned into the book On the Art of Writing.
His rooms were on C staircase, First Court, and known as the 'Q-bicle'. He oversaw the beginnings of the English Faculty there, an academic diplomat in a fractious community. He is sometimes regarded as the epitome of the school of English literary criticism later overthrown by F.R. Leavis.
Alistair Cooke was a notable student of Quiller-Couch. and he features prominently in Nick Clarke's semi-official biography of Cooke. Clarke also notes that Quiller-Couch was regarded by the Cambridge Establishment as "rather eccentric" even by the University's standards.
Quiller-Couch was a noted literary critic, publishing editions of some of Shakespeare's plays (in the New Shakespeare, published by Cambridge University Press, with Dover Wilson) and several critical works (among these are Studies in Literature (1918) and On the Art of Reading (1920)).
He edited a companion volume to his verse anthology: the Oxford Book of English Prosem which was published in 1923. He left his autobiography, Memories and Opinions, unfinished; it was edited and published in 1944.
Quiller-Couch was knighted in 1910.
He was made a Bard of Gorseth Kernow in 1928, taking the Bardic name Marghak Cough ('Red Knight').
In popular cultureEdit
Castle Dor, a retelling of the Tristan and Iseult myth in modern circumstances, was left unfinished at Quiller-Couch's death and was completed many years later by Daphne du Maurier. As she wrote in the Sunday Telegraph on April 1962, she took up the job with considerable trepidation, at the request of Quiller-Couch's daughter and "in memory of happy evenings long ago when 'Q' was host at Sunday supper" 
His Book of English Verse is oft-quoted by John Mortimer's fictional character, Horace Rumpole.
His Cambridge inaugural lecture series, published as On the Art of Writing, is the source of the popular writers' adage "murder your darlings".
- Green Bays: Verses and parodies. London: C.J. Clark, 1894.
- Poems and Ballads by 'Q'. London: Methuen, 1896.
- The Vigil of Venus, and other poems. London: Methuen, 1912.
- Poems. London: Humphrey Milford / Oxford University Press, 1929.
- Dead Man's Rock: A romance. London & New York: Cassell, 1887.
- The Astonishing HIstory of Troy Town. London & New York: Cassell, 1888.
- The Splendid Spur: Being memoirs of the adventures of Mr. John Marvel, London: Cassell, 1889.
- The Blue Pavilions. London & New York: Cassell, 1891.
- St Ives (completed an unfinished novel by Robert Louis Stevenson). Boston: Jefferson Press, 1897;
- also published ss Stevenson, Works, Volume VIII. Edinburgh: T. & A. Constable, for Longmaans Green / Cassell / Seeley / Scribner / Chatto & Windus, 1898.
- The Ship of Stars. London: Nelson, 1899; New York: Scribner, 1899.
- Hetty Wesley. London & New York: Macmillan, 1903.
- The Adventures of Harry Revel. London: 1903; New York: Scribner, 1903.
- Fort Amity. London: John Murray, 1904; New York: Scribner, 1904.
- The Shining Ferry. London: Nelson, 1905; New York: Scribner, 1905; Toronto: Copp Clark, 1905.
- Sir John Constantine: Sir John Constantine: Memoirs of his adventures at home and abroad, and particularly in the island of Corsica. New York: Scribner, 1906.
- Tales and Romances. (30 volumes), London: Dent / New York: Duttonn, 1928–29.
- Noughts and Crosses: Stories, studies, and sketches. London & New York: Cassell, 1888.
- The Laird's Luck, and other fireside tales. London: Cassell, 1901; New York: Scribner, 1902.
- The White Wolf, and other fireside tales. London: Methuen, 1902.
- Two Sides of the Face: Midwinter tales. London: Dent, 1903; New York: Scribner, 1903.
- Corporal Sam, and other stories. London: Smith, Elder, 1910.
- Selected Stories: Chosen by the author. London & Toronto: Dent / New York: Dutton, 1921.
- Old Stories and Profitable Ghosts. London: Dent / New York: Dutton, 1928.
- Adventures in Criticism. London: Cassell, 1896; New York: Scribner, 1896.
- From a Cornish Window. Bristol, UK: J.W. Arrowsmith / London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, 1906 / New York: Dutton, 1906.
- On the Art of Reading. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Prsss, 1915; New York & London: Putnam, 1920.
- On the Art of Writing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1916.
- Studies in Literature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1918; New York: Putnam, 1918.
- Studies in Literature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1922; New York: Putnam, 1922.
- Charles Dickens, and other Victorians. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1925.
- Memories and Opinions: An unfinished autobiography (edited by Sydney Castle Roberts). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Pres, 1944.
- The Sleeping Beauty, and other fairy tales. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1910.
- Q Anthology: A selection from the prose and verse (edited by Frederick Brittain). London: Dent, 1948; New York: Macmillan, 1949.
- The Golden Pomp: A procession of English lyrics from Surrey to Shirley. London: Methuen, 1895.
- Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press / New York: Oxford University Press, 1900
- revised as Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1918. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press / New York: Oxford University Press, 1939.
- Oxford Book of Ballads. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1910.
- Oxford Book of Victorian Verse. Oxord, UK: Clarendon Press, 1912.
- Oxford Book of English Prose. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1925.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Brittain, Frederick, Arthur Quiller-Couch, a Biographical Study of Q (Cambridge: University Press, 1947)
- Quiller-Couch, A. T., Memories and Opinions (Unfinished; it was nevertheless published in 1945 though only the years up to 1887 are covered.)
- Rowse, A. L., Quiller-Couch: a Portrait of "Q" (1988)
- Archer, William Poets of the Younger Generation (New York, 1902)
- Joshi, S. T., 'A brief essay on Quiller-Couch's ghost stories', in S. T. Joshi (ed.), The Evolution of the Weird Tale (2004)
- Quiller-Couch, A. T., Quiller-Couch's lectures on the art of writing
- ↑ The Age
- ↑ Flood, Alison (24 March 2010). "First edition of The Wind in the Willows sells for £32,400". guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/mar/24/wind-in-the-willows-bonhams. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Eagleton, Terry (1983). Literary Theory. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 0 631 132597. ; p. 30. Eagleton contrasts the "patrician dilettantes" and "devotees of Sir Arthur Quiller Couch" [sic, no hyphen], with the "offspring of the provincial bourgeoisie" ... "entering the traditional universities for the first time". The Leavisites, says Eagleton, had not "suffered the crippling disadvantages of a purely literary education of the Quiller Couch kind".
- ↑ Sunday Telegraph article published as introduction to the 1979 edition
- ↑ On the Art of Writing, Chapter 12, Paragraph 6
- ↑ Search results = au:Arthur Quiller-Couch, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Feb. 27, 2017.
- ↑ Quiller-Couch's lectures on the art of writing at bartleby.com
- Quiller-Couch in A Victorian Anthology, 1837-1895: "The Splendid Spur," "The White Moth"
- Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch at Poetry Nook (27 poems)
- Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch at PoemHunter (48 poems)
- On the Art of Writing
- Works by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch at Project Gutenberg
- Arthur Quiller-Couch at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Audio / video
- Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch in the Encyclopædia Britannica
- Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch Official website
- 'Quiller-Couch Family Papers' at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
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