Uppingham School, High St W, Uppingham, Oakham LE15 9QE
University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3PA, UK
University of Cambridge, 4 Mill Ln, Cambridge CB2 1RZ, UK
Cheltenham Cemetery, Bouncers Lane, Cheltenham GL52 5JT, UK
James Elroy Flecker (5 November 1884 – 3 January 1915) was an English novelist and playwright. As a poet he was most influenced by the Parnassian poets.
Herman Elroy Flecker was born on 5 November 1884 in Lewisham, London, to William Herman Flecker (d. 1941), headmaster of Dean Close School, Cheltenham, and his wife Sarah. His much younger brother was the educationalist Henry Lael Oswald Flecker (1896-1958), who became Headmaster of Christ's Hospital.
A friend, Frank Savery, remembers him as being a precocious and prolific writer, influenced particularly by Wilde's early verse and by Swinburne. In the course of his career he produced several volumes of lyrical romantic verse (some of which was included in Georgian Poetry) including The Bridge of Fire (1907), Forty-Two Poems (1911), and The Golden Journey to Samarkand (1913) and The Old Ships (1915).
Flecker later chose to use the first name "James", either because he disliked the name "Herman" or to avoid confusion with his father. "Roy", as his family called him, was educated at Dean Close School, then at Uppingham School. He subsequently studied at Trinity College, Oxford, and at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. While at Oxford he was greatly influenced by the last flowering of the Aesthetic movement there under John Addington Symonds, and became a close friend of the classicist and art historian John Beazley.
At Oxford he had an intimate friendship with Beazley, a year younger than himself, who was to become the greatest European scholar in the study of Greek vases. At the end of 1907 they spent some months together in Florence, and they were together again in Italy on summer 1908.
Flecker was bisexual, and the one who took the initiative. Little is known about their relationship, besides what Flecker wrote in his quite explicit verse:
From 1910 Flecker worked in the consular service in the Eastern Mediterranean. On a ship to Athens he met Helle Skiadaressi, and in 1911 he married her.
Flecker died on 3 January 1915, of tuberculosis, in Davos, Switzerland but was buried in Cheltenham. His death at the age of thirty was described at the time as "unquestionably the greatest premature loss that English literature has suffered since the death of Keats".
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