Wylie, Elinor (Hoyt)

Wylie, Elinor (Hoyt), 1885–1928, American poet and novelist, b. Somerville, N.J. She was famous during her life almost as much for her ethereal beauty and personality as for her melodious, sensuous poetry. Her first notable collection of poems, Nets to Catch the Wind (1921) was followed by Black Amour (1923), Trivial Breath (1928), and the posthumously published sonnet sequence, Angels and Earthly Creatures (1929). Her highly polished, articulate, and deeply emotional verse shows the influence of the metaphysical poets. Her novels, which are delicately wrought and filled with ironic fancy, include Jennifer Lorn (1923), The Venetian Glass Nephew (1925), The Orphan Angel (1926), and Mr. Hodge and Mr. Hazard (1928). After an unhappy marriage, she eloped to England with Horace Wylie in 1910; following her first husband's death she married Wylie, and although they were later divorced, she continued to write under the name Elinor Wylie. In 1923 she married William Rose Benét, poet and editor, who edited her collected poems (1932) and collected prose (1933) and wrote a study of her work (1934, 2d ed. 1971).

See biography by her sister, N. Hoyt (1935); study by T. A. Gray (1969).

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