This fifth volume of W. H. Auden's prose displays a great writer’s mind in its full maturity of wisdom, learning, and emotional and moral intelligence. It contains his most personally revealing essays, the ones in which he wrote for the first time about the full history of his family life, his sexuality, and the development of his moral and religious beliefs. Among these works are the lightly disguised autobiographies that appear in long essays on the Protestant mystics and on Shakespeare’s sonnets. The book also features the full text of his T. S. Eliot Memorial Lectures, Secondary Worlds, and many unpublished or unavailable lectures and speeches.
Edward Mendelson’s introduction and comprehensive notes provide biographical and historical explanations of obscure references. The text includes corrections and revisions that Auden marked in personal copies of his work and that are published here for the first time.
Edward Mendelson is the literary executor of the Estate of W. H. Auden and the Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. His books include Early Auden, Later Auden, The Things That Matter, and Lives of the New York Intellectuals.
"Stupendous collections. . . . [The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Prose] is becoming one of the great achievements of current literary scholarship."--Fintan O'Toole, New York Review of Books
"Wholly exemplary. . . . Edward Mendelson deserves gratitude and unmitigated praise."--Seamus Perry, Times Literary Supplement
"No one could take [Auden] for anything less than an extremely accomplished, fluent, professional writer . . . As an editor, Mendelson is meticulous, judicious and quite extraordinarily thorough. To say that Princeton University Press, in producing such handsome and usable volumes, has matched Mendelson's editorial standards is to give high praise indeed."--Stefan Collini, London Review of Books
"This rich horde, beautifully produced and meticulously edited, will be my bedside reading for the rest of the year and beyond."--David Collard, Times Literary Supplement
Praise for previous volumes: "The articles will delight any reader with their wit, charm, and elegance."--Charles Rosen, New York Review of Books
Praise for previous volumes: "When you add in the volumes already devoted to plays, libretti, poems, it becomes hard to avoid describing the whole enterprise as heroic. In fact it could also be described as unique, for no other twentieth-century English poet has been so fully and patiently honoured."--Frank Kermode, London Review of Books
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