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Roy Campbell (1902-1957)

Was born in 1902 in South Africa, left it as a boy, and spent most of the rest of his enormously active life travelling the globe. After the early success of his poem Flaming Terrapin, he was courted by London's literary lite, but soon made the wrong sort of enemies when he lampooned the Bloomsbury circle. His alienation from the literary scene was consummated when he emerged as a strong defender of Franco during the Spanish Civil War, which he witnessed at first hand. During this period, he was received into the Catholic Church. His reputation as a major modern poet never fully recovered despite his vigorous opposition to Nazism, his widely admired translations of Lorca and St John of the Cross, and the esteem of such contemporaries as T S Eliot, Edith Sitwell and Dylan Thomas. Roy Campbell was killed in a car crash in 1957.

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