Aldington, Richard (1892–1962) By Frayn, Andrew
Richard Aldington was one of the original Imagist poets, along with his wife Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), and Ezra Pound. He was also an industrious editor of little magazines in prewar London, and a respected critic of French literature in the postwar decade. He was profoundly affected by his experiences in the Great War, which he struggled to process, and his war novel Death of a Hero (1929) is a biting, strident criticism of the British Victorian values, which he believed led to the conflict and hindered its resolution. Aldington continued to write novels throughout the 1930s, and later achieved success as a biographer. His Lawrence of Arabia: A Biographical Enquiry (1955), which questioned the veracity of T.E. Lawrence’s claims to heroism—and those made on his behalf—was attacked by conservative critics, and damaged his reputation and saleability irreparably. Aldington died in central France in 1962.