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Murry, John Middleton, 1889-1957 (writer, reviewer)



  • Existence: 1889-1957

Writer and reviewer John Middleton Murry was born in Peckham, London, 6 August 1889. In 1901 he won a scholarship to Christ's Hospital, and reached Brasenose College, Oxford, also on a scholarship, and studied Classics. His literary career began in 1911 with the establishment of Rhythm, a quarterly. This ceased after only two years but in 1912 he had begun a journalistic career as a reviewer for the Westminster Gazette, and later the Times Literary Supplement. Between 1919 and 1921, Murry edited the Athenaeum, and he founded the magazine Adelphi (1923), later the New Adelphi. His first books were Fyodor Dostoevsky: a critical study (1916) and a work of fiction Still life (1916). Murry's second work of fiction was The things we are (1922). Lyric poetry, poetry, verse drama, and series of lectures on style followed, and then a third novel The voyage (1924). In the 1920s, Murry's interests shifted from literature to religious philosophy, and in the 1930s he converted to Marxism and then moved politically towards pacifism. His writing of the period reflected these shifts in interest. Long an admirer of Keats, he wrote Keats and Shakespeare: a study of Keats' poetic life from 1816 to 1820 (1925), and Studies in Keats (1930). Another literary portrait was Jonathan Swift: a critical biography (1954). Murry promoted the work of his wife, Katherine Mansfield, after her death in 1923, and his friendship with D. H. Lawrence inspired an autobiography of the great novelist after his death in 1930, Son of woman: the story of D. H. Lawrence (1931). His last book was Love, freedom and society (1957). Murry died 12 March 1957.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Original ms for 'Love, Freedom and Society', by John Middleton Murry, published 1957

Identifier: Coll-1681
Scope and Contents The ms of Love, Freedom and Society spans 345pp, in closely written handwriting, covering the entire text of the work. As well as sections on D. H. Lawrence and Albert Schweitzer, the ms also includes a set of politically based conclusions entitled 'A political epilogue' which was omitted from the final publication. These conclusions were replaced with the chapter 'Christianity and tragedy' which is also present in the ms. Letter of provenance is...
Dates: 1955-1957