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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Herbert Read

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Herbert Read

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Full Name: Herbert Edward Read
Born: December 4, 1893
Muscoates, North Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK
Died: June 12, 1968
Stonegrave, North Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK
Occupation: Art Historian, Critic, Writer
Nationality: British


Sir Herbert Edward Read was an English art historian, poet, literary critic and philosopher, best known for numerous books on art, which included influential volumes on the role of art in education. Read was co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary Arts. As well as being a prominent English anarchist, he was one of the earliest English writers to take notice of existentialism. He was co-editor with Michael Fordham of the British edition in English of The Collected Works of C. G. Jung.

The eldest of four children of tenant farmer Herbert Edward Read (1868-1903), and his wife Eliza Strickland, Read was born at Muscoates Grange. After his father's death, the family, being tenants rather than owners, had to leave the farm; Read was sent to a school for orphans at Halifax, West Yorkshire, and his mother took a job managing laundry in Leeds, where Read later joined her. Read's studies at the University of Leeds were interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War, during which he served with the Green Howards in France. He was commissioned in January 1915, and received both the Military Cross (MC) and the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) "for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" in 1918. He reached the rank of captain.

During the war, Read founded the journal Arts & Letters with Frank Rutter, one of the first literary periodicals to publish work by T. S. Eliot.

Read was also interested in the art of writing. He cared deeply about style and structure and summarized his views in English Prose Style (1928), a primer on, and a philosophy of, good writing. The book is considered one of the best on the foundations of the English language, and how those foundations can be and have been used to write English with elegance and distinction.

Works in the WWEnd Database

 Non Series Works