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More by Rex Warner

Rex Warner

Rex Warner (1905-1986) was born in Birmingham. The son of a clergyman, he spent much of his childhood in Gloucestershire. He went to Wadham College, Oxford where he gained a ‘first’ in Classical Moderations, and took a degree in English Literature. Here he made friends with W.H. Auden and C. Day Lewis. Auden remembered him in one of the odes in The orators (1932).

After the war, he worked as director of the British Institute in Athens, from 1945 to 1947, and lectured at several American universities, including holding the post of Professor of English at Connecticut from 1964 until 1974. He returned to England and lived his final years in Oxfordshire. He was married three times and had four children. His early published poetry and novels gained a following, his fiction being recognised as brave experiments in adapting the style of Kafka to the modern English novel. The aerodrome (1941), one of his most intriguing novels and his best known, tells of the invasion of a village by a neo-fascist air force and typically deals with the theme of an individual facing authority.

He wrote poems, novels and critical essays, worked on films and broadcasting, and translated many works, of which Xenophon’s History of My Time and The Persian Expedition, Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War, and Plutarch’s Lives (under the title Fall of the Roman Republic) and Moral Essays have been published in Penguin Classics. He died in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, in 1986.