MacGreevy, Thomas 1893–1967

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MacGreevy, Thomas 1893–1967


Born October 26, 1893, in Tarbert, Ireland; died of heart failure, March 16, 1967, in Dublin, Ireland. Education: Earned a degree from Trinity College, Dublin.


Poet, art and literary critic, and writer. British Civil Service, posts in Irish Land Commission in Dublin, Ireland, Charity Commissioners of England and Wales in London, England, and the Intelligence Division of the Admiralty, London, beginning 1910; Connoisseur, assistant editor, beginning c. 1925; Ecole Normale Supérieure of the University of Paris, Paris, France, lecturer in English literature, 1927-1928; Studio, London, chief art critic, beginning c. 1933; National Gallery, London, lecturer, beginning c. 1933; Irish Times, art critic, beginning c. 1941; National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, director, 1950-1963, consultant, 1963-67. Also worked as a reviewer for Criterion and Formes. Military service: British Army, beginning 1917, served in Royal Field Artillery during World War I; became second lieutenant.


Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur, 1948; Officier de la Légion d'Honneur, 1962; honorary doctorate of letters, National University of Ireland, 1962.


Richard Aldington: An Englishman, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1931, Haskell House Publishers (New York, NY), 1974.

Thomas Stearns Eliot: A Study, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1931, Haskell House Publishers (New York, NY), 1971.

Poems, Viking Press (New York, NY), 1934.

Jack B. Yeats: An Appreciation and an Interpretation by Thomas MacGreevy, Victor Waddington Publications (Dublin, Ireland), 1945.

Pictures in the Irish National Gallery, B.T. Batsford (London, England), 1946.

Nicolas Poussin, Dolmen Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1960.

Collected Poems, edited by Thomas Dillon Redshaw, foreword by Samuel Beckett, New Writers' Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1971.


(With others) Introduction to the Method of Leonardo Da Vinci, Translated from the French of Paul Valéry, J. Rodker (London, England), 1929.

Marthe Lucie Bibesco, Lord Thompson of Cardington: A Memoir and Some Letters, George Routledge (London, England), 1932.

Henry de Montherlant, Lament for the Death of An Upper Class, John Miles (London, England), 1935, published as Perish in Their Pride, by, A.A. Knopf (New York, NY), 1936.

Henry de Montherlant, Pity for Women, George Routledge (London, England), 1937.

Ella K. Maillart, Forbidden Journey, Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL), 2003.

Contributor to periodicals, including Times Literary Supplement, Athenaeum, Father Mathew Record, Capuchin Annual, and the Nation.


Although only one volume of Thomas MacGreevy's poetry, titled Poems, was published during his lifetime, many critics believe he had a profound influence on his generation of poets. For example, he is considered a groundbreaking writer in that his poetry "paved the way for younger poets such as Samuel Beckett, Brian Coffey and Denis Devlin to see a way around that proverbial shadow cast by W.B. Yeats," according to a biography by Susan Schreibman that appeared on the Ireland Local Web site. MacGreevy's life in Ireland and experience in World War I inspired his poetry, which was also influenced by his many literary colleagues. Among these colleagues were such acclaimed writers as James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and T.S. Eliot. Schreibman remarked that the author "was an extraordinarily visual poet: he painted words on the page, sometimes like an impressionist, but more often like a cubist, juxtaposing the real and surreal in disturbing and unfamiliar ways." In addition to poetry, MacGreevy reviewed art and literature for publications such as the Times Literary Supplement, Nation, and Athenaeum. The author eventually became director of the National Gallery of Ireland and then resumed writing poetry later in life, as well as a memoir that has not been published.



Ireland Local, (July 1, 1998), Susan Schreibman, biography of Thomas MacGreevy.

Irish Writers Online, (August 30, 2007), biography of Thomas MacGreevy.

Masthead Literary Arts Ezine, (October 4, 2007), brief profile of author.

Thomas MacGreevy Archive, (August 30, 2007), biography of Thomas MacGreevy.

University of Delaware Library, (August 30, 2007), biography of Thomas MacGreevy.

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MacGreevy, Thomas 1893–1967

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