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Mine Own Familiar Friend

The Relationship between Gerard Hopkins and Robert Bridges

William Robert Adamson

Mine Own Familiar Friend adds a new dimension to Hopkins Studies through its exploration of the complex and sometimes confounding friendship between the Jesuit priest and poet Gerard Hopkins and the editor of his first collected works, the poet and critic Robert Bridges. The divide between the two men is evident in almost every sphere of their lives, in their approach to poetry, reading, criticism and language. Based upon the primary texts of the letters, poetry and critical writings of the two men, the book is aimed at both an academic and a more generalist audience: Hopkins scholars and those readers of Hopkins’s poetry who may want to know more about this unique modernist poet whose collected works were only published, thanks to Bridges, some twenty-nine years after his death.

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My special thanks go to Desmond Egan and the Hopkins committee. I would also like to thank Derek Egan, Brian Arkins and Michael Woods for their support and encouragement in getting the idea of the book off the ground; Eamon Kiernan and Liam Adamson for their painstaking reading of the manuscript and their always helpful suggestions; Kelsey Thornton and Catherine Phillips for their invaluable help in tracking down images of Hopkins and Bridges, to Claire Munday and her family for their generous permission to use the image of Gerard Hopkins and to the National Portrait Gallery for their equally generous permission to use that of Robert Bridges.

My thanks to Peter Lang Publishing. To Lucy Melville for her initial positive response to the project, to Anthony Mason for his helpful editorial support and advice, and to Jaishree Thiyagarajan and the production team for their patience and help in the final stages.

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