Main Recommendations

The Collected Poems, by Rupert Brooke with a Memoir by Edward Marsh and an introduction by Gavin Ewart
Macmillan, London, 1992 . Paperback: ISBN 0 333 57927 5.

The 1992 Collected Poems includes both the highly recommended introduction by Gavin Ewart, and Edward Marsh’s sentimental Memoir written shortly after Brooke’s death on Skyros.

The Ewart edition has some minor errors in the poems, particularly in punctuation. For a definitive text, the original edition of the poems (now out of print) should be consulted. This is The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke: With a Memoir by Edward Marsh. Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1918.

Rupert Brooke, a biography, by Christopher Hassall
Faber, London, 1972 . Paperback: ISBN 0 571 10196 8.

The full, authorised biography, scholarly and detailed.

Rupert Brooke, His Life and His Legend, by John Lehmann
Hardback: Weidenfield, England 1980; ISBN 0 297 77757 2.
Paperback: Quartet Books, England, 1981; ISBN 0 704 33362 7.

The best short biography of Rupert Brooke, and also the first to reassess Brooke’s reputation in a balanced way. Lehmann pivots his book round Brooke’s breakdown at Lulworth in December 1911, and contrasts his life before and after that point.

The Neo-pagans: Friendship and Love in the Rupert Brooke Circle, by Paul Delany
Macmillan, London, 1987. Hardback: ISBN 0 333 44572 4.

This covers the social and romantic relationships of Rupert Brooke and his friends during and after his Grantchester years (1908-11). The book also includes a history of the ideals and values which influenced the poet,and a comprehensive epilogue describing the later lives of his friends and lovers. Altogether, it provides a highly readable insight into the emotions and motivations which drove both Brooke’s poetry and his life.

The Handsomest Young Man in England, by Michael Hastings
Michael Joseph, London, 1967.

This is the ultimate Rupert Brooke photograph album, with many pictures of the poet and his circle of friends. It also includes an appraisal of the Brooke legend, with biography and poems.

Other Recommended Books

Forever England: The Life of Rupert Brooke, by Mike Read
Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 1997. Hardback: ISBN 1 85158 995 3.

A more anecdotal biography, and hence more accessible, but less scholarly than Hassall’s. The narrative includes many of Brooke’s poems alongside the events of his life, and abounds with photographs of the places and people he knew. Read also includes poems written in tribute to Brooke after his death, and describes what happened to his friends in the decades following.

Friends and Apostles: The Correspondence of Rupert Brooke and James Strachey 1905-1914, Edited by Keith Hale
Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1998. Hardback: ISBN 0 300 07004 7.

Hale provides an excellent introduction, summaries of each year’s letters, and afterword. The correspondence is intimate and often rather racy. It chronicles Brooke’s intellectual, social and sexual development, through his neo-pagan years at Grantchester, to his breakdown at the end of 1911. After that, the correspondence thins out, and the turmoil in Brooke’s life is very apparent. But Strachey’s devotion to him remains constant throughout.

A Little Love and Good Company, by Cathleen Nesbitt
Faber & Faber, London, 1975. Hardback: ISBN 0 571 0280 8.

The memoirs of Cathleen Nesbitt, with whom Brooke fell in love in 1912. Her early life was spent on board her father’s ship, and then in Belfast. Brooke met her when she was a twenty-four year old actress, playing Perdita in A Winter’s Tale. After his earlier torrid affairs, the three chapters on their relationship are refreshingly innocent. In her later life there are still echoes of Brooke’s influence, of his more profound ideas and kinder thoughts.

The Irregular Verses of Rupert Brooke, arranged with commentary by Peter Miller
Green Branch Press, Kencot Lodge, Kencot, Lechlade, Gloucestershire GL7 3QX, UK, 1997. Paperback: ISBN 0 9526031 3 6.

From From a New Boy (1904) to Dysentery "My first was in the night at 1" (1915) Miller sets out the fragments and juvenilia that never made it into the mainstream editions of Brooke’s poetry. A great book to dip into.


The Rough Guide to Greek Islands, by Lance Chilton et al.
7th edition (1 Jun 2009). Paperback: ISBN 1858289483.

This provides comprehensive coverage of the Greek Islands: essential information for visitors to Skyros, including how to get there, where to stay, how to get around and what to see.

McGilchrist’s Greek Islands Vol 10: The Sporades
Genius Loci Publications 2010. Paperback: ISBN 978 1 907859 07 6.

This gives the history and geography of the four main Northern Sporades islands providing information and background not easily available elsewhere.


Books in print are available from and in the UK,

For first editions, second-hand and out of print copies of books by and about Rupert Brooke, try
Keith Smith Books -
of 78B The Homend, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1BX, United Kingdom,
Telephone 01531-635336 (from outside the UK +44-1531-635336)