Frank Laurance Lucas

Biography of Frank Laurance Lucas

Frank Laurence Lucas (1894–1967) was an English classical scholar, literary critic, poet, novelist, playwright, political polemicist, Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, and intelligence officer at Bletchley Park during World War II.

He is now best remembered for his scathing attacks on the poetry of T. S. Eliot during the 1920s, and for his book Style (1955), an acclaimed guide to recognising and writing good prose. His Tragedy in Relation to Aristotle's 'Poetics' (1927, substantially revised in 1957) was for over half a century a standard introduction. His most important contribution to scholarship was his four-volume Complete Works of John Webster (1927), the first collected edition of the Jacobean dramatist since that of Hazlitt (1857), itself largely a copy of Dyce (1830). T. S. Eliot called Lucas “the perfect annotator”; and all subsequent Webster scholars have been indebted to him, notably the editors of the new Cambridge Webster (1995–2007). Lucas is also remembered for his wartime work at Bletchley Park.

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