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Synopsis

Exploring the life of Kathleen Raine, who played an important role in the literary history of 20th-century England, this authorized biography tells how she developed from a small girl who only wanted to be a poet into a world-renowned poet and literary scholar. Starting with Kathleen’s struggle against the constrictions of her suburban childhood, the story of her life then continues with her exciting days at Girton College in the 1920s, where she became friends with many brilliant writers, artists, and scientists. She published Blake and Tradition, marking her as a leading William Blake scholar, and works on Coleridge, Yeats, and Thomas Taylor subsequently followed. Late in life, she founded the journal Temenos with the help of Prince Charles and was honored with the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry. Using letters, documents, and personal interviews, the extensive research shows how a woman from a modest background used her talents and ambition, in spite of the problems that they may cause, to achieve worldwide distinction in her chosen field. This complete picture of a complex and brilliant individual sympathetically assesses Kathleen Raine's work while throwing a critical light on her private life, which was often at odds with her achievements.

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