Lascelles abercrombie 1

Lascelles Abercrombie (1881-1938). Courtesy Media Hex.

Lascelles Abercrombie (9 January 1881 - 27 October 1938) was an English poet and literary critic, perhaps best known today as a member of the Dymock poets.


Abercrombie was born in Ashton upon Mersey[1] and educated at Malvern College,[2] and at the University of Manchester.

Before World War I, he lived for a time at Dymock in Gloucestershire, part of a community that included Rupert Brooke and Robert Frost. Edward Thomas also visited.

In 1922 Abercrombie was appointed Professor of English at the University of Leeds in preference to J.R.R. Tolkien, (with whom he shared, as author of The Epic (1914), a professional interest in heroic poetry).[3]In 1929  Abercrombie moved to the University of London, and in 1935 to a prestigious readership at Oxford University.[1]

He wrote a series of works on the nature of poetry, including The Idea of Great Poetry (1925) and Romanticism (1926). He also published several volumes of original verse, largely metaphysical poems in dramatic form, and a number of verse plays. His poems and plays were collected in Poems (1930). In the same year he published separately his most ambitious poem, 'The Sale of Saint Thomas' in six 'Acts'. [1]


He was the brother of the architect Patrick Abercrombie. His son was cell biologist Michael Abercrombie. His great-grandson is author Joe Abercrombie.


"Complex and cerebral in style," the Columbia Encyclopedia says of Abercrombie, "his poetry often expressed his distaste for 20th-century industrialism."[4]

A number of fellow poets and professors of literature (including Oliver Elton and Una Ellis-Fermor) admired the sublimity of his themes and his ability to clothe metaphysical thought in vivid imagery.(Citation needed) His critical studies of Hardy (1912) and Wordsworth (published posthumously) are still sometimes referred to.Template:Whom? He is remembered because of his contacts with Edward Marsh, Rupert Brooke, and other 'Georgian' poets, and sometimes called the "Georgian poet laureate.'


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Short fictionEdit


  • Thomas Hardy: A critical study. London: Martin Secker, 1912.
  • The Epic: an essay. London: Martin Secker, 1914; new edition, London: Martin Secker, 1922
    • Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1969.
  • Poetry and Contemporary Speech (pamphlet). London: The English Association, 1914.[6]
  • An Essay Towards a Theory of Art. London Martin Secker, 1922.
  • Principles of English Prosody. London: Martin Secker, 1923
    • New York: AMS Press, 1976.
  • The Idea of Great Poetry. London: Martin Secker, 1925.
    • Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1969.
  • The Theory of Poetry. London: Martin Secker, 1926; New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1926
    • St. Clair Shores, MI: Scholarly Press, 1973.
  • Romanticism. London: Martin Secker, 1926
    • London: High Hill / New York: Barnes & Noble, 1963.
  • Progress in Literature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1929.
  • A Plea for the Liberty of Interpreting. London: Humphrey Milford, 1930
    • Folcroft, PA: Folcroft Library Editions, 1973; Norwood, PA: Norwood Editions, 1975.
  • Revaluations: Studies in biography. London: Humphrey Milford / Oxford University Press, 1931
    • Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1967.
  • Poetry: Its music and meaning. London: Humphrey Milford / Oxford University Press, 1932.
  • Principles of Literary Criticism. London: Victor Gollancz, 1932
    • Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1979.
  • Ascpects of Shakespeare: Being British Academy lectures. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1933.
  • The Art of Wordsworth. London: Oxford University Press, 1952.


  • New English Poems: A miscellany of contemporary verse never before published. London: Victor Gollancz, 1931.
Hymn to Love LibriVox Short Poetry 082 Lascelles Abercrombie

Hymn to Love LibriVox Short Poetry 082 Lascelles Abercrombie

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[7]

See alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, page 4
  2. Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (1995) Merriam-Webster Inc. p.3. ISBN:9780877790426
  3. Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, 1977, 114.
  4. Lascelles Abercrombie, Columbia Encyclopedia 6th edition,, Web, July 17, 2012.
  5. Search results = au:William Wilfrid Gibson, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Aug. 25, 2014.
  6. Poetry and contemporary speech (1914), Internet Archive, July 17, 2012.
  7. Search results = au:Lascelles Abercrombie, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Dec. 15, 2013.

External linksEdit

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