Biography and History

W. H. Auden, as he signed his name, is generally regarded as one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. His work is noted for its stylistic and technical achievements, its engagement with moral and political issues, and for its variety of tone, form, and content. The central themes of his poetry are personal love, politics and citizenship, religion and morals, and the relationship between unique human beings and the anonymous, impersonal world of nature. Auden grew up in Birmingham, England, but moved to the United States in 1939. He was also a prolific writer of prose essays and reviews on literary, political, psychological, and religious subjects, and he worked at various times on documentary films, poetic plays, and other forms of performance.

Source: From the finding aid for C1214

  • Gauss Seminars in Criticism Records. 1949-1981 (inclusive).

    Call Number: AC178

    Named in honor of Christian Gauss (1878-1951), one of Woodrow Wilson's original preceptors and dean of the college from 1925 to 1946, the Gauss Seminars in Criticism were conceived in 1949 by Richard P. Blackmur (1904-1965). One of America's foremost literary critics–and one of Princeton's most distinguished professors of English–Blackmur sought to stimulate discussion and the exchange of ideas in the humanities through presentations from scholars, artists, critics, and writers. The collection is composed of correspondence with guest speakers.

  • Louise Bogan Papers. 1936-1954 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C0109

    Consists primarily of drafts, notes, fragments and final copies of American poet Louise Bogan's critical essays on modern literature, published in prestigious American journals. There are a few poetry manuscripts and even fewer pieces of correspondence.

  • W. H. Auden Collection. 1941-1952 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1214

    Consists of selected correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs of the Anglo-American poet W. H. Auden, one of the most acclaimed poets of the 20th century.