Frances Cornford entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
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Frances Cornford published nine books of poetry and three translations between 1910 and 1960. Her poems usually address the subjects of female lives lived by forced necessity apart from the busy, noisy main stream. Her early verse was widely popular and drew very positive critical attention, but her popularity waned in later years. Some critics accused her of simplification and naiveté, but this suggests an oversimplification in the critic rather than the poet. Her poems convey their meaning in sharp, slightly surreal, and often memorable images, and her treatment of tradition, and later of war and death, needs to be seen in part as ironizing her poems' cheery rhymes.
30 March 1886 Frances Darwin (later Cornford) was born in Cambridge, the second child in her family. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 19 May 1910 Frances Cornford privately published her Poems with Priory Press in Hampstead and with Bowes and Bowes in Cambridge. Bibliographic Citation link.
19 August 1960 Frances Cornford died in Cambridge, having failed to recover fully from a heart attack she suffered earlier that year. Bibliographic Citation link.
After 19 August 1960 Frances Cornford's last book of poetry, On a Calm Shore, was published. She wrote the preface shortly before her death, but did not live to see its release. Bibliographic Citation link.
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