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Rupert Brooke's signature

10. The 'Myth'

On Rupert Brooke

A century after his death, Rupert Brooke remains an extremely popular poet. His poetry is still read with interest, both in the course of study and leisure. While his popularity has not diminished, our understanding of the poet, his life and interests, has developed significantly.

Rupert Brooke was a popular figure during his life, often admired for his looks, charm and creative talents. W.B. Yeats, the Irish poet, famously described Brooke as ‘the handsomest man in England’, while Frances Cornford compared him to the god Apollo.

On Rupert Brooke

A young Apollo, golden-haired,
Stands dreaming on the verge of strife,
Magnificently unprepared
For the long littleness of life.

Frances Cornford

It has been suggested that the earliest tributes to Brooke painted an idealistic picture of him, rather than giving a well-rounded description of the real Rupert Brooke. This idealised and god-like view of him is often referred to as the ‘myth’ of Rupert Brooke.

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