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Sir Henry Newbolt

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Sir Henry John Newbolt (June 6, 1862 - April 19, 1938) was an English author and poet.

He was the son of H.F. Newbolt, vicar of St Mary's, Bilston, Staffordshire (where he was born). After attending Caistor Grammar School he was educated at Clifton College, where he was head of the school in 1881 and edited the school magazine, and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1887 and practised until 1899. His first book was a story, Taken from the Enemy (1892), and in 1895 he published a tragedy, Mordred; but it was the publication of his ballads, Admirals All (1897), that created his literary reputation. These were followed by other volumes of stirring verse, The Island Race (1898), ]]The Sailing of the Long-ships]] (1902), Songs of the Sea (1904).

Probably the best known of all Newbolt's poems and the one for which he is now chiefly remembered is Vitaï Lampada, which contains the memorable refrain:

Play up, play up, and play the game. [This poem is detailed in full in the Clifton College page - as the poem refers to how a future soldier learns stoicism in cricket matches on the famous Close]. From 1900 to 1905, Newbolt was the editor of the Monthly Review. During the First World War, he became controller of telecommunications and worked as an official historian.

The popularity of his verse was due to the solid beat of his rhythm.

Newbolt was knighted in 1915. He was awarded the 'Companion of honour' in 1922.


This entry uses text from Wikipedia.org (English version) The Wikipedia.org article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.

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