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Louis MacNeice Edit Profile

also known as 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).


Macneice, Louis was born in 1907 in London.


Studied Marlborough and Merton College, Oxford.


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).


  • play

    • The Agamemnon (1936, translations Aeschylus)

    • Christopher Columbus (1944, radio play)

    • He Had a Date (1944, radio play)

    • The Dark Tower (1947, radio play)

    • Faust (1949, translations Goethe)

    • The Administrator (1961, radio play)

    • The Mad Islands (1962, radio play)

    • Persons from Porlock (1963, radio play)

  • poetry

    • Blind Fireworks (1929, poetry)

    • Poems (1935, poetry)

    • Letters from Iceland (1937, with W. H. Auden)

    • The Earth Compels (1938, poetry)

    • Autumn Journal (1939, poetry)

    • The Last Ditch (1940, poetry)

    • Plant and Phantom (1941, poetry)

    • The Poetry of W. B. Yeats (1941)

    • Springboard (1944, poetry)

    • Holes in the Sky (1948, poetry)

    • Collected Poems, 1925–1948 (1949, poetry)

    • Ten Burnt Offerings (1952, poetry)

    • Autumn Sequel (1954, poetry)

    • Visitations (1957, poetry)

    • Solstices (1961, poetry)

    • The Burning Perch (1963, poetry, posthumous)


John MacNeice

Lily (d. 1914)

Georgina Greer (stepmother after 1917)

Elizabeth (b. 1903, d. 1981)

William (b. 1905, d. 1968)

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

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

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