Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

Pseudonym of US poet and novelist Hilda Doolittle (1886-1961), who lived in the UK or Switzerland from 1911, and who became a significant Imagist poet from the publication of Sea Garden (coll 1916). From early on she was absorbed by Greece and Classic Greek literature (see Greek and Latin Classics), which shaped much of her work. An early novel, Hedylus (1928), makes complex play with Hellenistic motifs. Meditations on Goddess themes appeared frequently. She wrote little fantasy as such, but Helen in Egypt (1961) – a book-length narrative poem told as by the Sicilian poet Stesichorus (fl early 6th century BC) – intricately amalgamates the Myths and Legends of Troy and of the Gods who intervened there; her Helen is both an immortal being and an Underlier for HD's vision of modern woman, whose sexual nature must be vivid and sustaining. [JC]

Hilda Doolittle


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.