Rupert Brooke Additional Biography


(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Unfortunately, perhaps, Rupert Brooke is remembered primarily for one poem, “The Soldier,” a poem that most critics agree was not among his finest accomplishments. His patriotic elegy to sacrifice, coinciding with his youthful death, turned Brooke into a monument to youth, to idealism, to a past that no longer existed after the Great War was over. Brooke saw himself and his poetry as a progressive step beyond that of his Victorian predecessors. Paradoxically, he now too often seems part of a world of rural innocence that has long since disappeared. If Brooke had lived, it is impossible to say that he would have become a major poet, but his early death obscured his legacy of poetic realism, irony, humor, intelligence, and passion, which is also found in his writings.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

ph_0111201665-Brooke.jpg Rupert Brooke Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Rupert Brooke, the most popular English poet of the World War I period, was born at the famous Public School of Rugby, where his father was an assistant master. After attending Rugby, Brooke went to King’s College, Cambridge, in 1909. At the university he immediately plunged into all the intellectual activities there, joining the Apostles, the famous discussion group, and taking a leading role in the Cambridge Amateur Dramatic Society. All who knew him at Cambridge remembered his great personal charm and amazing good looks. However, Brooke’s stunning exterior covered a deeply divided and troubled mind. It was during this period that he joined the Fabian Society, the socialistic group to which belonged many intellectuals, including H. G. Wells and Sidney and Beatrice Webb.

After a reading trip with friends to Lulworth, he suffered a major breakdown and spent some time in Germany to recover, returning to the village of Grantchester near Cambridge. There he leased the Old Vicarage, the site of one of his most famous poems, “The Old Vicarage, Grantchester,” which he had written in Germany and originally planned to call “The Sentimental Exile.” While living at Grantchester, he prepared his dissertation on John Webster and published his first volume of poems in 1911.

In 1913 he embarked on a long journey that took him across the United States and Canada and eventually to the South Seas, where he spent some time in Samoa and Tahiti. It was in this Pacific paradise that he wrote...

(The entire section is 618 words.)