The poet and literary critic, Lascelles Abercrombie (1881-1938), is perhaps best remembered as one of the Dymock poets. The Dymock poets, Abercrombie, Rupert Brooke, John Drinkwater, Wilfrid Gibson, Edward Thomas and the American poet, Robert Frost, were a group of writers living in or near the village of Dymock on the Gloucestershire-Herefordshire border. They published four editions of the journal New Numbers in 1914 and 1915, and their poetry described the area in which they lived as a golden rural corner of England.
Following Rupert Brooke’s death in Greece in 1915 the remaining poets wrote elegies to him in New Numbers. This image shows a handwritten fair copy draft of Abercrombie’s elegy. In the poem, which differs slightly from the published version, Abercrombie describes Brooke as a source of ‘golden fire’ which has now been extinguished. After the war Abercrombie entered academia working first at Liverpool University and later at Leeds University and Merton College, Oxford. He continued to publish poetry until his death from diabetes in 1938.