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Richard Church
Richard Church
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Richard Church (1893 - 1972)

Richard Church was born in Battersea, London in 1893. Richard attended Dulwich Hamlet School in London until the age of sixteen, when he was persuaded by his father to take a position as a clerk in the Civil Service, where he would spend the next twenty four years. Richard developed much of his literary skill during his first five years with the Civil Service by devising a timetable that included two hours of reading and studying between the hours of 5am and 7am, and then further reading after a full day at work. This hard work was rewarded in 1917 when Richard published his first volume of poetry, The Flood of Life, and Other Poems. It was, however, the publication of his story in verse, Portrait of the Abbot, in 1926 that really allowed Richard to spring to prominence. From 1922 onwards, Richard contributed reviews and literary journalism on a regular basis to publications such as The Daily Herald, The Westminster Gazette, The Nation, and The New Statesman.


In the early 1930s Richard gave up his position with the Civil Service to pursue a career as a full-time writer. At this point Richard began to focus more energy on novels, writing The Cave – the story of five boys who become trapped in a cave during their summer vacation. Richard’s most successful prose achievement was the first of his autobiographical volumes, Over the Bridge, which won The Sunday Times Prize for Literature in 1955. Richard, however, wanted to be remembered primarily as a poet and his talents were celebrated in 1957 when he won the Foyles Poetry Prize for his collection The Inheritors.


Richard stayed busy as he grew older, founding the Tunbridge Wells and District Writer’s Circle and acting as President of the Kent and Sussex Poetry Society. Richard died in 1972 - with over sixty books of poetry and prose to his name - having firmly established his position in English literary heritage.


  Selected Titles
The Flood of Life (1917)
Philip (1923)
The Portrait of the Abbot (1926)
The Dream (1927)
Theme with Variations (1928)
Mood without Measure (1928) Mary Shelley (1928)
The Glance Backward (1930) Oliver’s Daughter (1930)
News from the Mountain (1932) Twelve Noon (1936)
The Solitary Man (1941) Twentieth-Century Psalter (1943)
The Lamp (1946)
Collected Poems (1948)
Poems for Speaking (1950)
Selected Lyrical Poems (1951)
The Prodigal (a verse play) (1953)
The Inheritors (1957)
North of Rome (1960)
The Burning Bush (1967)

High Summer (1931)
The Prodigal Father (1933)
Apple of Concord (1935)
The Porch (1937)
The Stronghold (1939)
The Room Within (1940)
The Sampler (1942)
The Nightingale (1952)
The Dangerous Years (1956)
The Crab-Apple Tree (1959)
Little Miss Moffat (1969)

Children's Fiction
A Squirrel Called Rufus (1941)
The Cave (1950)
Dog Toby (1953)
Down River (1958)
The Bells of Rye (1960)
The White Doe (1968)
The French Lieutenant (1971)

Over the Bridge (1955)
The Golden Sovereign (1957)
The Voyage Home (1964)

Calling for a Spade (1939)
Eight for Immortality (1941)
Small Moments (1957)
A Country Widow (1958)
Calm October (1961)
A Stroll Before Dark (1965)
A Harvest of Mushrooms (1970)

The Stronghold (1939)
High Summer (1931)
The Cave (1951)
The Crab-Apple Tree (1959

Kent (1948)
The Growth of the English Novel (1951)
A Portrait of Canterbury (1953)
The Wonder of Words (1970)



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