Edmund Blunden was born in 1896 and educated at Christ’s Hospital and Queen’s College, Oxford. He was brought up in the Kentish countryside and he served with the Royal Sussex Regiment in the First World War, at the same time publishing his early poems. Through much of the 1920s and again in the late 1940s he taught in Japan and from 1953 to 1964 was Professor of English Literature at Hong Kong University.
His sympathy with the Far East comes out in a number of his later poems and prose essays. In 1967-8 he was Oxford Professor of Poetry. Undertones of War, prose memories interspersed with poems, is considered to be one of the classic books to emerge from the First World War, and he received many awards for his other work, among them the Hawthornden Prize and the Queen’s Medal for Poetry.
As a critic and essayist Blunden was largely concerned with the more elusive figures of the Romantic period, such as Leigh Hunt, and with the delights of cricket and country life and landscape. Edmund Blunden died in January 1974.