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Edmund Charles Blunden was an English poet, author and critic. Like his friend Siegfried Sassoon, he wrote of his experiences in World War I in both verse and prose. For most of his career, Blunden was also a reviewer for English publications and an academic in Tokyo and later Hong Kong. He ended his career as Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford.

Early Years and WWI

Edmund Charles Blunden was born in London in 1896, moving with his family to Kent shortly afterwards. He was educated at Christ's Hospital and Queen's College, Oxford. Blunden was commissioned into the Royal Sussex Regiment in 1915 and served in France and Belgium from 1916 to 1919, fighting on the Somme and at Ypres. He was awarded the Military Cross.

Career as a Writer

In 1920 his collection of poetry The Waggoner was published after he sent a privately printed collection of verse to the then Literary Editor of The Daily Herald, Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon had immediately realised Blunden's abilities and wrote him an encouraging letter, starting a lifelong friendship between the two cricket-playing poets. In 1922 Blunden's The Shepherd followed, winning him the Hawthorden Prize. The Shepherd included poems from five previously privately printed collections published between 1914 and 1916. In 1928 Blunden published his chronicle of the First World War, Undertones of War, which gained him a wide reputation that was further enhanced by his collection The Poems of Edmund Blunde..
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