This is the first biography of Sir John Squire since 1963 and reassesses the triumphs and tragedies, through a modern lens, of a man whom The Times called the most brilliant of our present day poets and critics.
J.C. Squire (1884-1958) was, amongst many other things, a poet, journalist, editor of the New Statesman and the best-selling magazine the London Mercury. He was both loved and detested, Evelyn Waugh satirised him in Decline and Fall. Lytton Strachey called him ‘that little worm.’ T.S. Eliot was an implacable foe, but he enjoyed the friendship of Thomas Hardy, Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon, and ruled the roost over literary society for the best part of twenty years.
Shores of Paradise: Sir John Squire, last of the Georgian Poets is both the story of his achievement, but also a tale of breakdown and tragedy. It offers an unflinching account of how a career begun in a blaze of promise ended in drink and oblivion.
The product of extensive research among primary sources, Shores of Paradise sheds a penetrating light on the literary politics and quarrels of a bygone age and the life of Sir John Squire as a wit, broadcaster, pioneer conservationist, founder of a legendary cricket club, and saviour of Stonehenge from developers.