H. D.

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HD, born American, who took British nationality after a marriage which lasted longer on paper than in practice, was a key figure in the international Imagist movement of the early twentieth century and in modernism more broadly: both through her own poetry and through her editing and dissemination of the work of others. As well as her imagistic pieces, she wrote complex longer poems (most published during her lifetime), translation, essays, reviews, outlines for films, and autobiographical novels which are, like most of her work, explorations of the self. Here she writes à clef of her own past, but also builds a web of mythical and psycho-analytical reference which makes her texts dense as well as rewarding. She is an explorer of the female psyche, and of the relation of gender to creativity and of myth to psychoanalysis.
Black-and-white photo of H.D. posing, looking off-camera and leaning against a wall with her hands in her pockets. Her hair is styled in a            page-boy cut.
"H. D." by Bettmann/Contributor, 1900-01-02. Retrieved from https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/hilda-doolittle-was-a-literary-poet-and-exponent-of-imagism-news-photo/515359940. This image is licensed under the GETTY IMAGES CONTENT LICENCE AGREEMENT.

Milestones

10 September 1886
H. D. was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Robinson, Janice S. H.D.: The Life and Work of an American Poet. Houghton Mifflin, 1982.
3
1 May 1915
The Egoist (edited by Harriet Shaw Weaver ) published a special number on Imagism which was in part the result of H. D. 's editorial influence, even before this became official with Richard Aldington 's departure to the army.
Marek, Jayne E. Women Editing Modernism: "Little" Magazines & Literary History. University Press of Kentucky, 1995.
105
By June 1916
H. D. assumed (while he was away in the army) the duties of Richard Aldington as literary editor of The Egoist (formerly The New Freewoman, of which Harriet Shaw Weaver was editor).
Aldington, Richard, and H. D. “Introduction and Commentary”. Richard Aldington and H.D.: The Early Years in Letters, edited by Caroline Zilboorg, Indiana University Press, 1992, p. Various pages.
28
Marek, Jayne E. Women Editing Modernism: "Little" Magazines & Literary History. University Press of Kentucky, 1995.
10
27 September 1961
H. D. died at the Klinik Hislanden in Zurich.
Robinson, Janice S. H.D.: The Life and Work of an American Poet. Houghton Mifflin, 1982.
xxi
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
20 October 1961
The month after H. D. died, her long poem Helen in Egypt (probably her single best-known work and sometimes classified as epic) was published.
Boughn, Michael. H.D.: A Bibliography 1905-1990. University Press of Virginia, 1993.
56-7
Friedman, Susan Stanford. “’Remembering Shakespeare Always, But Remembering Him Differently’: H.D.’s By Avon River”. Sagetrieb, No. 2, pp. 45 -70.
45
15 November 1972
H. D. 's Hermetic Definition, a volume consisting of poems written in the final year of her life, was posthumously published.
Boughn, Michael. H.D.: A Bibliography 1905-1990. University Press of Virginia, 1993.
61-2
“Dictionary of Literary Biography online”. Gale Databases: Literature Resource Center-LRC.
4

Biography

Works of reference find it hard to deal with the form of her name that this writer chose: H. D. She is frequently indexed as Doolittle.

Birth and Family