Lord Edward Christian David Gascoyne-Cecil CH (April 9, 1902 – January 1, 1986), was an English aristocrat, literary scholar, biographer and academic. His title was a courtesy title: he was a younger son of the 4th Marquess of Salisbury.
He was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. In 1947, he was made professor of rhetoric at Gresham College, London, for a year. He was Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford from 1948 to 1970, his pupils including John Bayley. He was also a member of the literary group known as the Inklings.
He married Rachel MacCarthy, daughter of Desmond MacCarthy. Father of the actor Jonathan Cecil.
Cecil's 1939 book The Young Melbourne, the first of two biographies he published of William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, the British Prime Minister, was one of John F. Kennedy's favourite books.
The Young Melbourne
Pan Books edition, 1948
- The Stricken Deer or The Life of Cowper (1929), on the poet William Cowper
- Sir Walter Scott: The Raven Miscellany (1933)
- Early Victorian novelists : essays in revaluation (1934)
- Jane Austen (1936)
- The Young Melbourne and the Story of his Marriage with Caroline Lamb (Constable & Co., Ltd., 1939; re-published by Pan Books Ltd., London, 1948, book number GP 9)
- The English Poets (1941)
- Oxford Book Of Christian Verse (1941) editor
- Men of the R.A.F. (1942) with Sir William Rothenstein
- Hardy the Novelist, an Essay in Criticism (1942) Clark Lectures
- Antony and Cleopatra, the fourth W.P. Ker memorial lecture delivered in the University of Glasgow, 4th May, 1943 (1944)
- Poetry of Thomas Gray (1945) Warton Lecture
- Two Quiet Lives (1948) Dorothy Osborne and Thomas Gray
- Poets & story-tellers (1949) essays
- Reading as one of the fine arts (1949) inaugural lecture delivered before the University of Oxford on 28 May 1949
- Lord M, or the Later Life of Lord Melbourne (1954)
- Walter Pater - the Scholar Artist (1955) Rede Lecture
- Augustus John. Fifty-two Drawings (1957)
- The Fine Art of Reading and other literary studies (1957)
- Modern Verse in English 1900-1950 (1958) editor with Allen Tate
- Max (1964) biography of Max Beerbohm
- The Bodley Head Beerbohm (1970) editor
- Visionary and dreamer : two poetic painters : Samuel Palmer and Edward Burne-Jones (1969)
- A Choice of Tennyson's verse (1971) editor
- The Cecils of Hatfield House: A Portrait of an English Ruling Family (1973)
- Walter De La Mare (1973) English Association leaflet
- A Victorian Album. Julia Margaret Cameron and her Circle (1975) with Graham Ovenden
- Library Looking-Glass (1975) anthology
- Lady Ottoline 's Album (1976)
- A Portrait of Jane Austen (1978)
- A portrait of Charles Lamb (1983)
- Desmond MacCarthy, the Man and His Writings (1984) editor
- Some Dorset Country Houses (1985)
- List of Gresham Professors of Rhetoric
Glyer, Diana (2007). The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community. ISBN-13: 978-0873388900.
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