Friday, November 21, 2014

BIRTH | Nov. 21–"Q", Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

Q (Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch)
Today in 1863 was born in Cornwall, England, the anthologist and writer Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. Quiller-Couch was a Trinity College, Oxford, alumnus and sometime Don.

He started writing well-regarded verse at Oxford. He  published under the pen name "Q" and was best known as an anthologist, e.g., of The Oxford Book of English Verse (1250-1900), a best-seller for 70 years.

At his retreat in Cornwall he was an active worker in politics for the Liberal Party. He was Commodore of the Royal Fowey Yacht Club from 1911 until his death. He was knighted in 1910. In 1928 he was made a Bard of Gorseth Kernow, taking the Bardic name Marghak Cough ("Red Knight").

He wrote a book for children, Sleeping Beauty, that is among the Grolier 100 Top Classics.

Like C.S. Lewis, he was later in life lured away to Cambridge with a University lectureship and a post at Jesus College, where he remained till his death by car accident at 80 years of age.

Even by Oxbridge standards Q was considered eccentric. He should be remembered by writers, suggests Garrison Keillor, for a piece of advice that is widely quoted but rarely attributed.  Q wrote in On the Art of Writing (1916):
Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it - whole-heartedly - and delete it before sending your manuscript to press: Murder your darlings.
More Oxford bios. 

No comments:

Post a Comment