The Complete Works of W. H. Auden, Volume VI
Prose: 1969–1973
W. H. Auden

Edited by Edward Mendelson

Editions

This sixth and final 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 the full text of the only book that he regarded as an autobiography, A Certain World, in which he portrayed himself by selecting and commenting on writings by others that most affected him throughout his life. It also features late essays and reviews that in many cases present lightly disguised autobiographies, among them the most detailed account of his sexuality, in "Papa Was a Wise Old Sly-Boots." The appendixes gather lectures and public talks that are otherwise unpublished or unavailable.

Edward Mendelson’s 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.