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How he saw himself

When Rupert Brooke was at Rugby School, his father was the Master of School Field House. Far from being confined by his position as the son of the Master of his house, Rupert Brooke stood out, not least because of the length of his hair and his way of dressing.

Biographer Christopher Hassall suggested that Brooke liked to seize opportunities in ‘the anti-Philistine war’, rejecting ‘conventional hypocrisy’ (Hassall, 1964; 83).

Rupert Brooke often viewed himself in relation to his close friends. When relationships with others went through difficulties, these would affect him quite deeply. This is most clearly shown by a letter he wrote after his relationship with Ka Cox ended, in which he appears to mistrust most of his former friends. Some have suggested that he suffered a ‘breakdown’ at that point in his life, after which he went travelling in North America. He seems to have been quite open in his discussion of relationships and sometimes even self-deprecating, referring to his heart as a ‘cess pool’ (The British Library, RP5785 f.121).

Read The Great Lover on the Rupert Brooke Society website.

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