Richard Aldington

An Autobiography in Letters

Edited by Norman T. Gates

Paperback - £28.95

Publication date:

15 September 1992

Length of book:

440 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271028446

In the most comprehensive selection of his letters ever published, Norman Gates allows Richard Aldington to tell the story of his life in his own words. Unlike Aldington's autobiography, Life for Life's Sake, published twenty years before his death, these letters include those two important decades of his life and do not depend upon memory. Gates provides an introduction to each of the book's five sections, sketching Aldington's biography during that decade, but the reader may then listen to Aldington's own voice speaking through his letters.

Richard Aldington was married to the American poet H. D. and was a friend to many other writers and artists at the center of the Modern period. His comments on his colleagues and their work, his efforts to promote their literary fortunes, his passionate love for two wives and two mistresses, are all a part of these letters. So, too, are his experiences on the editorial staffs of the Egoist and the Criterion, which brought him to touch with European and American writers. For a clear picture of the literary world of this time, Aldington's letters are indispensable.

“Richard Aldington’s letters are interesting, informative, and compulsively readable, from literary business to literary gossip, from war letters to love letters, and all equally passionate. Aldington was not only a significant poet, novelist, biographer, critic, and translator; he knew most English writers of any significance in his fifty active years (1912–1962) in literary life—Ezra Pound, Eliot, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, William Butler Yeats, Amy Lowell, H. D., Ford Madox Ford, Nancy Cunard, Norman Douglas, Aldous Huxley, Noel Coward, and C. P. Snow, to name a few.”

—Stanley Weintraub, Penn State University