On February 26, 1913, British poet and novelist George Granville Barker was born Loughton, Essex, England. Barker was the elder brother of painter Kit Barker. Having left school at an early age he pursued several odd jobs before settling on a career in writing. Early volumes of note by Barker include Thirty Preliminary Poems (1933), Poems(1935) and Calamiterror (1937), which was inspired by the Spanish Civil War. In his early twenties, Barker had already been published by T.S. Eliot at Faber and Faber, who also helped him to gain appointment as Professor of English Literature in 1939 at Tohoku University in Japan. He left there in 1940 due to the hostilities, but wrote Pacific Sonnets during his tenure. He then travelled to the U.S. where he began his longtime liaison with writer Elizabeth Smart, by whom he had four of his fifteen children. Barker also had three children by his first wife, Jessica. He returned to England in 1943. From the late 1960s until his death, he lived in Norfolk. In 1969, he published the poemAt Thurgarton Church. Barker's 1950 novel, The Dead Seagull, described his affair with Smart, whose 1945 novel By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept was also written about the affair. His Collected Poems were edited by Robert Frost and published in 1987 by Faber and Faber. Barker died on October 27, 1991.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Literary Legends. His book can be purchased from Amazon through the following links: