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Alfred Austin Biography and Poems

Alfred Austin Biography and Poems. This is biographical information on Alfred Austin, one of the best poets of all time. This biography page also provides a link to poems written by Austin, as well as, a video biography...if available.

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Austin, Alfred

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Alfred Austin DL (30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913) was an English poet who was appointed Poet Laureate in 1896 upon the death of Alfred, Lord Tennyson .


In 1861, after two false starts in poetry and fiction, he made his first noteworthy appearance as a writer with The Season: a Satire, which contained incisive lines, and was marked by some promise both in wit and observation. In 1870 he published a volume of criticism, The Poetry of the Period, which was conceived in the spirit of satire, and attacked Tennyson, Browning, Matthew Arnold and Swinburne in an unrestrained fashion. The book aroused some discussion at the time, but its judgments were extremely uncritical.

As poet-laureate, his topical verses did not escape negative criticism; a hasty poem written in praise of the Jameson Raid in 1896 being a notable instance. The most effective characteristic of Austin's poetry, as of the best of his prose, was a genuine and intimate love of nature. His prose idylls, The Garden that I love and In Veronica's Garden, are full of a pleasant, open-air flavour. His lyrical poems are wanting in spontaneity and individuality, but many of them possess a simple, orderly charm, as of an English country lane. He had, indeed, a true love of England, sometimes not without a suspicion of insularity, but always fresh and ingenuous. A drama by him, Flodden Field, was acted at His Majesty's theatre in 1903.

Among his works are Pacchiarotto, Prince Lucifer and The Human Tragedy (1862). His autobiography was published in 1911.

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