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This article is taken from PN Review 9, Volume 6 Number 1, September - October 1979.

on Edgell Rickword Roy Fuller

I must have first met Edgell in 1945, probably in the Our Time office in Southampton Street, shabby but commodious premises, as I recall. No doubt I was duly awed to meet one already legendary and whose verse I admired so much, but of him at that time and the couple of years thereafter when I was a contributor to the magazine I remember only his editorial acuity- correcting a Sassoon quotation, questioning some expression of views in my copy-always exercised with kindliness. For the purpose of writing this I have looked back at one or two of my contributions to Our Time and am amazed how the dogmas of Marxism were still distorting my literary judgement. When I compare such things with Edgell's own journalism at a similar or earlier age (in Essays and Opinions 1921-1931) I see how generous he was to persevere with me.

Through the instrumentality of Jack Lindsay (who will be eighty himself in a couple of years) Edgell's Collected Poems were published by the Bodley Head in 1947, his three volumes of verse having been long out of print. I reviewed the book for Tribune on 23 January 1948. Again I am ashamed to see how ideological piffle obscured my appreciation, though the notice was favourable, in places enthusiastic. I also reviewed the book on the wireless, for at that time I was doing monthly reviews of new books of verse for the BBC Third Programme, and what I had to ...


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