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Louis MacNeice (Frederick Louis MacNeice)

playwright , writer , poet

Louis MacNeice was an Irish poet and playwright. He was part of the generation of "thirties poets" that included W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Cecil Day-Lewis, nicknamed "MacSpaunday" as a group — a name invented by Roy Campbell, in his Talking Bronco (1946).

Background

Macneice, Louis was born in 1907 in London.

Education

Studied Marlborough and Merton College, Oxford.

Career

In 1930 MacNeice accepted a post as classics lecturer at the University of Birmingham, a position he held until 1936, when he went on to teach Greek at Bedford College for Women, University of London. In 1941, he joined the British Broadcasting Company as a staff writer and producer. Like many modern English poets, MacNeice found an

audience for his work through British radio. Some of his best-known plays, including 'Christopher Columbus' (1944), and 'The Dark Tower' (1946), were originally written for radio and later published.

In addition to his poetry and radio dramas, MacNeice also wrote the verse translation 'The Agamemnon of

Aeschylus' (1936), translated Goethe's 'Faust' (1951), and collaborated with Auden on the 'travelogue Letters from Iceland' (1937).

Works

  • The Agamemnon (1936, translations Aeschylus)

  • Christopher Columbus (1944, radio play)

  • He Had a Date (1944, radio play)

  • The Dark Tower (1947, radio play)

  • All works

Connections

father:
John MacNeice

mother:
Lily (d. 1914)

Step-mother:
Georgina Greer (stepmother after 1917)

Sister:
Elizabeth (b. 1903, d. 1981)

brother:
William (b. 1905, d. 1968)

Wife:
Giovanna Marie Thérèse Babette Ezra ("Mary Ezra", Jewish, m. 1930, div. 1936/37)

Son:
Daniel John MacNeice (b. 15-May-1934)

Life partner (Girlfriend):
Nancy Coldstream (painter, affair in 1930s, b. 1909, d. 2001)