Richards, I. A. (1893–1979) By Smith, Dale M.
Ivor Armstrong Richards was a leading British critic of the twentieth century. Born in Cheshire and educated at Cambridge, Richards founded his reputation on his ability to evaluate problems of meaning in communicative acts. His contributions led to the development of modern literary criticism, especially New Criticism. He drew on philosophy, rhetoric, semantics, semiotics, and aesthetic theory to illustrate how language works by usage, rather than by prescriptive rules. While taking forms of poetry as the basis of his study in the 1920s, he developed with C. K. Ogden (1889–1957) methods of close reading that brought attention to contexts of interpretation.