This is a study of a literary generation writing in a period of expanding fears and ever more urgent political and social crises. The pace of the time itself, the sense of time passing and an end approaching gave a special quality to the Thirties. The public world pressed insistently on the private world. For those who came of literary age - Auden, Day Lewis, MacNeice, Spender, Graham Greene, Isherwood and Orwell among them - writing became a form of action. In the process a generation discovered itself and found its own expression.
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About feelings, fog and forebodings, about the sense of a birth of good against gathering odds, The Auden Generation is wonderfully accurate, never smart or superficial and always sympathetic. A good and necessary book. - Country Life
His extremely lucid, readable and intelligent study of the literary history of England in the Thirties greatly enlarges the reader's view of the generation. - New Statesman
Stimulating and authentic... Hynes's judicious choice of example and avoidance of muddying inclusivity, his ability to make critical connections and his clarity of argument, all these qualities give his book unity, give it indeed its definitive scope. - The Times Literary Supplement
Superb. - The Times
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About the Author
Samuel Hynes was born in Chicago in 1924 and was educated at the University of Minnesota and Columbia University. He has taught at Swarthmore College, Northwestern University. From 1943 to 1946, and again in 1952-3, he served as a pilot in the United States Marine Corps. His books include The Pattern of Hardy's Poetry, Edwardian Occasions and Flights of Passage: Reflections of a World War II Aviator.
The Auden Generation is the second volume of Samuel Hynes's trilogy of cultural histories covering the relationship between literature, theatre and public events during the first four decades of the twentieth century. The others - The Edwardian Turn of Mind and A War Imagined - are also published by Pimlico.