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A sweeping look at the lives and work of two important English Romantic painters, from a Los Angeles Times Book Prize-winning author.Renowned poet Stanley Plumly, who has been praised for his "obsessive, intricate, intimate and brilliant" (Washington Post) nonfiction, explores immortality in art through the work of two impressive landscape artists: John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. How is it that this disparate pair will come to be regarded as Britain's supreme landscape painters, precursors to Impressionism and Modernism? How did each painter's life influence his work?Almost exact contemporaries, both legendary artists experience a life-changing tragedy -- for Constable it is the long illness and death of his wife; for Turner, the death of his singular parent and supporter, his father.

About the Author

Stanley Plumly

On May 23, 1939, Stanley Plumly was born to Herman and Esther Plumly in Barnesville, Ohio. Following Stanley's birth, the family moved from farm work to carpentry jobs and back to farm work in Virginia and Ohio. Plumly graduated from Wilmington College, a small work-study school in Ohio, in 1962. While he was in college, his writing talents were recognized and encouraged by the playwright-poet-teacher Joel Climenhaga. Plumly received his MA from Ohio University in 1968 and did course work toward a PhD at the same school. The writer's father, who died at the age of fifty-six of a heart attack brought on by his chronic alcoholism, dominates the poet's work: "I can hardly think of a poem I've written that at some point in its history did not implicate, or figure, my father" (Iowa Review, Fall 1973) . His mother also figures prominently as the silent, helpless witness of her husband's self-destruction. Plumly's books of poetry include Old Heart (W. W. Norton, 2007) ; The Marriage in the Trees (Ecco Press, 1997) ; Boy on the Step (1989) ; Summer Celestial (1983) ; Out-of-the-Body Travel (1977) , which won the William Carlos Williams Award and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Giraffe (1973) ; In the Outer Dark (1970) , which won the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. He is also the author of the nonfiction books Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography (W. W. Norton, 2008) ; Argument & Song: Sources & Silences in Poetry (Other Press, 2003) .He edited the Ohio Review from 1970 to 1975 and the Iowa Review from 1976 to 1978. He has taught at numerous institutions including Louisiana State University, Ohio University, Princeton, Columbia, and the Universities of Iowa, Michigan, and Houston, as well as at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in 1978 and 1979. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship (Plumly's father died while the poet was in Europe on this grant in 1973) , an Ingram-Merrill Foundation Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. He is a professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently, he is Maryland's poet laureate.

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