Hobday, Charles (Henry) 1917–2005

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HOBDAY, Charles (Henry) 1917–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born September 9, 1917, in Eastbourne, Sussex, England; died March 2, 2005, in London, England. Author. Hobday was a leftist poet associated with the Salisbury Group and the magazine Our Time who later gained acclaim for his nonfiction books. Though he was of draft age, medical reasons kept him out of World War II. Instead, he completed his B.A. in 1939 and M.A. in 1941, both from Queen Mary College, London. He then worked as a teacher in London and published his poems in Our Time. A leftist idealist, he joined the Communist Party by 1938 and became associated with the Salisbury Group of poets who held similar beliefs, including Jack Lindsay, Edgell Rickword, Our Time's editor, and Doris Lessing. Many of these poets, including Hobday, abandoned communism in protest after the Soviets invaded Hungary in 1956. Publishing poems in journals was not sufficient to earn a living, so Hobday became a subeditor for Hutchinson Publishing for two years after the war. In 1949 he joined Keesing's Publications, where he did similar work until retiring in 1982. Though Hobday would publish such poetry collections as The Return of Cain (1974) and Talking of Michelangelo (1978), it was for the non-poetic works published after his retirement that he became best known. These include the biography Edgell Rickword: A Poet at War (1989), the edited collection The Collected Poems of Edgell Rickword (1991), and the literary study A Golden Ring: English Poets in Florence from 1373 to the Present Day (1998). His last books were How Goes the Enemy?: Selected Poems 1960–2000 (2000) and Elegy for a Sergeant (2002), a paean to his uncle, who died fighting in World War I.



Guardian (London, England), March 16, 2005, p. 25.

Independent (London, England), March 15, 2005, p. 37.