Poet and novelist, born in Birmingham. The son of a clergyman, he spent much of his childhood in Gloucestershire. He went to Wadham College, Oxford to read classics and English. Here he made friends with W.H. Auden and C. Day Lewis. Auden remembered him in one of the odes in The orators (1932).Until the outbreak of the Second World War, Rex Warner worked mainly as a schoolteacher in England. His early published poetry and novels gained a following, his fiction being recognised as brave experiments in adapting the style of Kafka to the modern English novel. The aerodrome (1941), one of his most intriguing novels and his best known, tells of the invasion of a village by a neo-fascist air force and typically deals with the theme of an individual facing authority.
After the war, he worked as director of the British Institute in Athens, from 1945 to 1947, and lectured at several American universities, including holding the post of Professor of English at Connecticut from 1964 until 1974. He returned to England and lived his final years in Oxfordshire. He was married three times and had four children.
An accomplished translator of Greek and Roman texts, Rex Warner will probably be chiefly remembered for his successful later historical novels which draw on his academic studies, such as The young Caesar (1958) and Imperial Caesar (1960). These take the form of an autobiography and have been praised for their insight, imagination and skillful treatment.
The following works are available in the West Midlands Creative Literature Collection:-
The aerodrome (1941)
Imperial Caesar (1960)
Why was I killed? (1943)
The young Caesar (1958)
Page created 31 October 2001 and last updated 28 October 2002
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