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David Moody



David Moody's current research is concerned with Ezra Pound in particular and modern American and British poetry in general.

His earlier interests are represented by his books Virginia Woolf (1963) and Shakespeare's ‘The Merchant of Venice' (1964), by articles on Samuel Johnson's poetry and Henry James's novels, and by two books of verse, At the Antipodes: Homage to Paul Valéry (1982) and News Odes: The El Salvador Sequence (1984). He is the author of Thomas Stearns Eliot: Poet (1979, 1994) and Tracing T.S. Eliot's Spirit (1996), and editor of The Cambridge Companion to T.S. Eliot (1994).

He has published articles on Pound (1975, 1980, 1982, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2014), and has written a three volume critical biography of the poet: Ezra Pound: Poet. A Portrait of the Man & His Work. The first volume, The Young Genius 1885-1920, was published by Oxford University Press in 2007, the second, The Epic Years, 1921-1939, in 2014, and the third volume, The Tragic Years, 1939-1972, in 2015. With Mary de Rachewiltz and Joanna Moody he edited Ezra Pound to His Parents. Letters 1895-1929 (2010) – this was awarded the Ezra Pound Society Book Prize in 2011.




Having completed the three volume biography he is now thinking about the relevance of Ezra Pound’s writings to our present discontents.

Ezra Pound: Poet, A Portrait of the Man & His Work. Volume I. The Young Genius 1885-1920 (2007).

  • 'The first volume of this grand opus is a significant event.' - Andrew Motion, The Guardian Book of the Week
  • 'Any biographer of Pound needs a clear head, a cool and dispassionate style, and first-rate literary-critical powers . . . David Moody has all three'. - Paul Dean, The New Criterion
  • 'Moody knows more about Pound's poetry than probably anyone else alive, and supplies careful, detailed readings of all the early books.' - Charles McGrath, The New York Times
  • 'the fullest, most intelligent, biography of Pound'. - Rebecca Beasley, Review of English Studies
  • 'This is a long, slow book, but as the detail accumulates one’s respect for it deepens.' - Frank Kermode, New York Review of Books

Ezra Pound: Poet A Portrait of the Man & His Work. Volume II. The Epic Years 1921-1939 (2014).  

‘The second volume of a magnificent biography that will surely take its place among the most important studies of any Modernist writer.’ - David Mason, Wall Street Journal

‘Moody is an astute and superbly thorough guide to Pound’s views, behaviour, and writings . . . . he seeks to do scholarly justice to the writings as well as giving us a richly detailed portrait of the man.’ - Mark Ford, New York Review of Books

‘A beacon of clarity compared to most academic literary criticism’. - Philip Marchand, National Post

‘It’s Moody’s exceptional ability to distance himself from his subject matter that makes this book such a powerful reading experience.’ - J P O’Malley, Toronto Star

‘Moody's biography is the best kind of slow read, its authority and grip increasing as the details accumulate. It is also an exceptional feat of criticism, often shedding light on unexpected facets of Pounds poetry. When the final volume is with us, it will stand as the definitive account of perhaps the most troublous and dramatic life in 20th-century literature.’ - Matthew Sperling, Literary Review

Ezra Pound: Poet A Portrait of the Man & His Work. Volume III. The Tragic Years 1939-1972 (2015).

‘The final volume of A. David Moody's monumental biography may well be the most absorbing. Here, in vivid detail, Moody tells the painful story ... much new or previously unknown archival material ... the most authoritative biography to date.’ - Marjorie Perloff, Times Literary Supplement

‘David Moody's magnificent accomplishment commands respect. His scholarship and criticism are exhaustive and these three volumes will be indispenable to all future Ezra Pound research.’ - Tim Redman, Literary Review

‘It's hard to imagine a more comprehensive or impressive biography of Pound will ever be written.’ - Publishers Weekly

‘Moody has succeeded in bringing Pound to life and highlighting the vitality of his poetry. He gives modern readers an understanding of just how brilliant the dangerous, deluded and fascinating Ezra Pound was.’- Alexander Adams, Spiked

‘It is a monumental feat of scholarship, and one which must surely be seen as an exemplar of modern critical biography.’ - Rob Spence, Shiny New Books

External activities


  • Hon. Member T. S. Eliot Society
  • Fellow of the English Association
  • Member Ezra Pound Society
  • Member steering committee Ezra Pound International Bi-Annual Conference
  • Member Advisory Board, Ezra Pound Studies Center, Merano, Italy


Contact details

Professor David Moody
Department of English and Related Literature
University of York
Y010 5DD

Tel: 44 1904 323366
Fax: 44 1904 323372