Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Noyes, Alfred

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(1880-1958) UK poet and academic, resident for substantial parts of his career in the USA. Highly regarded in his day for lengthy poems like Drake: An English Epic (1906-1908 2 vols) and The Torch-Bearers (1922-1930 3 vols), he was made a Companion of the British Empire in 1918 and received numerous honorary degrees. His main contribution to fantasy was the humorous The Devil Takes a Holiday (1955), in which Satan arrives in California to condemn the use of atomic weapons. AN also wrote some fantastic short stories, gathered in Walking Shadows: Sea Tales and Others (coll 1918) and The Hidden Player (coll 1924), and a novella, Beyond the Desert: A Tale of Death Valley (1920 chap US), but his principal efforts in fantasy are found in his many volumes of poetry and verse plays, especially The Flower of Old Japan (1903; rev vt The Flower of Old Japan and Other Poems 1907), The Forest of Wild Thyme (1905), Sherwood, or Robin Hood and the Three Kings (1911; rev vt Robin Hood 1926) and Tales of the Mermaid Tavern (1913). A Tennysonian post-Romantic, and later a convert to Roman Catholicism, AN became deeply unfashionable in the era of T S Eliot (1888-1965) and F R Leavis (1895-1978), but retains some admirers to this day. [DP]

other works: The Magic Casement: An Anthology of Fairy Poetry (1908), edited; Collected Poems (1910-1920 3 vols; exp 1927; exp 1947; exp 1963); William Morris (1908), Tennyson (1932) and Voltaire (1936), all nonfiction; The Last Man (1940; vt No Other Man 1940 US), scientific romance; The Secret of Pooduck Island (1943 US), juvenile fantasy.

Alfred Noyes


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.