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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Place To Start, 17 Sept. 2011
By 
M. Hurley (KSA) - See all my reviews
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This book consists of a series of very readable introductory essays to Auden's life and work, most of which are quite detailed, and written by notable Auden scholars. It will not disappoint. A dozen or so pages, each devoted to Auden's verse, his prose, the American Auden, the English Auden, the European Auden, and so on; it is the best introduction anyone might hope for, particularly if you are a student. It is also a showpiece edition, and tends to avoid such issues as Auden's problematic early critical reception, the fact that Auden's early experimental poetry remains glossed over (see John Boly) but these are perhaps less faults than they are issues of editorial selection. Paul Hendon's 'The Poetry of ~~' will augment these 'omissions' nicely. Those looking to understand Auden and modern literary theory should read Rainer Emig or John Boly's other works on Auden (as this volume is a general introduction).

Edward Mendelson's books on Auden, Humphrey Carpenter's biography and Auden's 4 volumes of prose writings are all wonderful, readable accounts of Auden's life and work. Fuller's Commentary is an essential guide to some of the less accessible poems but doesn't supply a narrative and so acts as a reference work only. Hoggart's book (bio) is currently (5/2012) out of print. A book on Auden's Juvenilia is also available. Probably the biggest obstacle to selecting books BY Auden is to know which are books of poetry and which are not. This series of essays contains a bibliography which helps to sort through that conundrum. A visit to [...] (home to the Auden Newsletter) will also help.

260+ printed pages, 19 essays, a good Introduction by Stan Smith, a useful index, published in 2004, well worth the money.
Essays by Stan Smith (Ed.), Richard Davenport Hines, Patrick Deane, Nicholas Jenkins, Stan Smith, Edward Mendelson, Tim Youngs, Christopher Innes, Tony Sharpe, Peter Porter, John R. Boly, John Lucas, Rod Mengham, Richard Bozorth, Gareth Reeves, Paola Marchetti, Rainer Emig, Ian Sansom, and Nadia Herman Colburn.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Sept. 2014
By 
Sally J Blackmore (Chertsey, Surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Cambridge Companion to W. H. Auden (Cambridge Companions to Literature) (Paperback)
Great book and arrived on time
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The Cambridge Companion to W. H. Auden (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
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