Hilda Doolittle
(1886-1961)

woman, poet, and writer

Died aged 75

Hilda Doolittle (September 10, 1886 – September 27, 1961) was an American poet, novelist, and memoirist, associated with the early 20th-century avant-garde Imagist group of poets, including Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington. She published under the pen name H.D. Hilda was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1886, and grew up just outside Philadelphia in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, and attended Bryn Mawr College. She moved to London in 1911, where she played a central role within the then-emerging Imagist movement. Young and charismatic, she was championed by the modernist poet Ezra Pound, who was instrumental in building her career. From 1916 to 1917, she acted as the literary editor of the Egoist journal, while her poetry appeared in the English Review and the Transatlantic Review. During World War I, H.D. suffered the death of her brother and the breakup of her marriage to the poet Richard Aldington, and these events weighed heavily on her later poetry. Imagist authority Glenn Hughes wrote that 'her loneliness cries out from her poems'. She had a deep interest in Ancient Greek literature, and her poetry often borrowed from Greek mythology and classical poets. Her work is noted for its incorporation of natural scenes and objects, which are often used to evoke a particular feeling or mood. She befriended Sigmund Freud during the 1930s, and became his patient in order to understand and express her bisexuality, her residual war trauma, her writing, and her spiritual experiences. H.D. married once, and undertook a number of relationships with both men and women. She was unapologetic about her sexuality, and thus became an icon for both the LGBT rights and feminist movements when her poems, plays, letters and essays were rediscovered during the 1970s and 1980s.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

H. D. (Hilda Doolittle) poet and writer lived here 1917-1918

44 Mecklenburgh Square, WC1, London, United Kingdom where they lived