The literary career of English writer Ian Serraillier has been long and varied, spanning five decades from the 1940s to the 1980s. His works include poems for adults, adventure novels for young adults, verse narratives for young adults based on classical and medieval sources, plays in verse for broadcast on BBC radio, picture books for younger readers, and a nonfiction introduction to the age of Chaucer for high school and college students. His poems have been broadcast in the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere, and his novel The Silver Sword was serialized for BBC television.
Serraillier was born in London on September 24, 1912. He attended a private boarding school in Sussex and then Brighton College, where he became fascinated with classical mythology. He won a scholarship to Oxford University, where he studied from 1931 to 1935, taking a master's degree in English language and literature. During his studies at Oxford he developed an interest in medieval literature, which provided the sources for several of his most important later writings.
Although Serraillier always aspired to a writing career, during the first half of his adult life he wrote more as avocation than vocation. From 1936 to 1961 he held a series of teaching positions and devoted most of his vacations to writing. His first published poems appeared in a 1942 collection, Three New Poets: Roy McFadden, Alex Comfort, Ian Serraillier. Shortly...
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