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C Day-Lewis

About C Day-Lewis

The British poet, essayist, and detective story writer Cecil Day Lewis (1904-1972) was born on 27 April 27, 1904, in Ballintogher, Ireland, When Cecil was 4 his mother died and the family moved to England. He was educated at Sherborne School then went to Wadham College, Oxford. He taught until 1935, when he became a full-time writer, editor and left-wing political activist. During the 1930s he developed friendships with W. H. Auden and Stephen Spender, sharing their leftist political views.

As well as writing poetry he wrote a series of detective stories under the pen-name Nicholas Blake, that gave him financial independence. He said of them that they release “a spring of cruelty” that is in all men.

During his lifetime he filled a number of important literary posts, including lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1951 professor of poetry at Oxford. In 1964-1965 he was the professor of poetry at Harvard University.

In 1968 Lewis was appointed poet laureate. He died in London on May 22, 1972. He published a huge body of critical and biographical work, as well as poetry and the novels..

During his time at Sherborne School he met and fell in love with Mary King, who was to become his wife in 1928. This marriage dissolved in 1951 and he later married the actress Jill Balcon. He had four children, including the actor Daniel Day-Lewis.

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