Gordon Bottomley Biography


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Gordon Bottomley was the son of Alfred and Ann Maria Bottomley (née Gordon). The senior Bottomley worked as a cashier in a Yorkshire worsted mill and sent his son to Keighley Grammar School. After he left school, the young Bottomley worked as a bank clerk until illness caused him to go into near seclusion. He married Emily Burton of Arnside in 1905 and lived quietly, settling permanently in 1914 in The Shieling, Silverdale, near Carnforth in Lancashire. The Bottomleys took lengthy holidays in North Wales and often stayed with literary friends. Although Bottomley shunned the literary life of London, he was always current with literary and artistic trends, enjoying frequent communication and correspondence with such scholars as Lascelles Abercrombie, a fellow Georgian poet-dramatist; John Drinkwater, who wrote poetic plays and produced one of Bottomley’s; Paul Nash, the painter, who produced sketches and studies of scenes from those plays; and Sir Edmund William Gosse, who would eventually respond negatively to the work of Bottomley and the Georgians. Perhaps Bottomley’s greatest literary friend and supporter, however, was Sir Edward Marsh, the editor of several volumes bearing the title Georgian Poetry (1912-1922), in which Bottomley’s work figured prominently.

For all of his Georgian traits, it should be noted that Bottomley was deeply influenced by the Celtic Twilight movement of the late nineteenth century, as well as by the closely...

(The entire section is 575 words.)