Born in 1917 into an aristocratic Boston family Robert Lowell was not yet thirty when his first major collection of poems, Lord Weary's Castle, won the Pulitzer Prize. With Life Studies, his third book, he found the intense, highly personal voice that made him the foremost American poet of his generation. He held strong, complex and very public political views. His private life was turbulent, marred by manic depression and troubled marriages. But in this superb biography (first published in 1982) the poet Ian Hamilton illuminates both the life and the work of Lowell with sympathetic understanding and consummate narrative skill. 'Our one consolation for Ian Hamilton's early death is that his work seems to have lived on with undiminished force... The critical prose, in particular, still sets a standard that nobody else comes near.' Clive James

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