J.C. Squire was born in Plymouth, Devon, England in April of 1882. When he was a young man he attended Blundell’s School, in Tiverton, and then later St. John’s College, Cambridge University. He graduated from university with a degree in history. During this time period he became interested in politics and even attempted a run for Parliament. The run was unsuccessful but he did find work as a reporter for the National Press Agency.
It was in 1909 that his first collection of poems, Poems and Baudelaire Flowers, was published. It included a number of translations of Baudelaire but did not receive any notable reviews or attention from critics. It was around this time period that Squire wrote a column for The New Age which garnered a bit of recognition. It was titled, Imaginary Speeches in The New Age.
The next book which Squire released was Imaginary Speeches And Other Parodies in Prose And Verse. This work, along with Steps to Parnassus, published in 1913m were parodies created from Squire’s own experiences in Parliament. These comical works were what helped to establish Squire as a writer.
Although Squire continued to write, he is best-know today as a journalist and literary critic. In 1913 he became the literary editor for the New Statesman. He would later be appointed as the acting editor. He wrote under the name Solomon Eagle and published critical essays on contemporary writing. These essays were eventually collected together and published in the volume, Books in General, as well as the collection, Sunday Mornings.
Squire was extremely prolific and throughout the 1920s published The Birds and Other Poems, as well as two more collections under the title, Books in General. These were followed by the anthology Selections From Modern Poets and A Book of Women’s Verse.
Throughout his life he published a great number of collections, articles, and anthologies but the poetic work for which he is best-known is The Survival of the Fittest, published in 1916. It was one of the first volumes to openly protest World War I.
Today, J.C. Squire is known as a champion of Georgian verse. A style which fell between the Victorian era and Modernism. It rejected aestheticism for its own sake and focused on romanticism and sentimentality. J.C. Squire died in December of 1958.