Edward Shanks

Edward Shanks – Edward Richard Buxton Shanks – was born in 1892 and died in 1953. He was inavlided out of the First World War in 1915, but was highly regarded as a war/ Georgian poet – and was the first winner of the Hawthornden Prize, in 1919, with a collection of poetry called ‘The Queen of China and other poems’. (A selction of his poetry from 1912-1932 was being prepared for publication when he first judged a WR competition.) He had worked on Squire’s London Mercury, but in 1932, he had been employed for seven years as a leader-writer for the Evening Standard.

Shanks also wrote fiction (he’d written a science fiction novel The People of the Ruins in 1920) including the two part Queer Street.Shanks novel

A flavour of Shanks’s poetry can be acquired by reading his 1916 volume, which Gutenberg has here. The sequence in it (‘The Winter Soldier’ is skilled and quite at odds with the conventional image of the ‘world war poet’ – although, to be fair, Shanks was eliminated from the conflict early. There is also a sequence of four, written in World War II, about ‘The Few’ here.

Shanks also wrote a biography of Belloc and a study of Kipling.

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