John Middleton Murry


Biography of John Middleton Murry

John Middleton Murry (6 August 1889 – 12 March 1957) was an English writer. He was prolific, producing more than 60 books and thousands of essays and reviews on literature, social issues, politics, and religion during his lifetime. A prominent critic, Murry is best remembered for his association with Katherine Mansfield, whom he married as her second husband, in 1918, his friendship with D. H. Lawrence, and his friendship (and brief affair) with Frieda Lawrence. Following Mansfield's death, Murry edited her work.

He was born in Peckham, London, the son of a civil servant. He was educated at Christ's Hospital and Brasenose College, Oxford. There he met the writer Joyce Cary, a lifelong friend.

He met Katherine Mansfield at the end of 1911, through W. L. George. His intense relationship with her, her early death, and his subsequent allusions to it, shaped both his later life and the attitudes (often hostile) of others to him. Leonard Woolf in his memoirs called Murry "Pecksniffian". By 1933 his reputation "had touched bottom", and Rayner Heppenstall's short book of 1934, John Middleton Murry: A Study in Excellent Normality, could note that he was "the best-hated man of letters in the country".

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