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F.T. Prince (1912 - 2003)

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  • F.T. Prince was born in Kimberley, South Africa, in 1912 and educated at the Christian Brothers’ College in Kimberley, at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and at Balliol College, Oxford. After graduating, he travelled and studied in Europe, particularly Italy, before taking up a graduate fellowship at Princeton. He returned to England in 1937 and worked as a foreign policy analyst at Chatham House for three years. His first collection was published by T.S. Eliot at Faber in 1938. During the Second World War F.T. Prince served in the Army Intelligence Corps, at Bletchley Park, in the Middle East and in Italy. His most celebrated poem, ‘Soldiers Bathing’, was written in 1942 and first published in 1943 in More Poems from the Forces, edited by Keidrych Rhys. After the war, Prince joined the English department at Southampton University, serving as professor from 1957 to 1974. From 1968 to 1969 he was a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. In 1972-3 he delivered the Clark Lectures at Trinity College, Cambridge. After retirement from Southampton, he took visiting professorships in Jamaica, the United States and Yemen. In 1985-6 he was president of the English Association. F.T. Prince died in 2003.
    Praise for F.T. Prince (1912 - 2003) 'The mastery Prince achieved and the thrilling variety of his modes and voices means that, with the exception of the self-consciously minor late work (Prince labelled it "Senilia"), this volume reads like the highlights of a more copious body of work. Collected Poems will introduce readers to a poet of supreme skill and great intellectual curiosity.'
    Paul Batchelor, the Guardian
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