Arthur Henry King:Mormon Poet
Arthur Henry King was a British poet, writer, and academic. He was recognized worldwide as a Shakespearean and linguistics specialist.
He was born on February 20, 1910, in England to Quaker parents. He graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1931 and went on to earn his Doctor of Literature degree from the University of Lund, in Sweden, in stylistics. He taught English and English literature for fourteen years at the universities in Lund and Stockholm. He served as Assistant Director-General in charge of Education in England. Beginning in 1943, he served twenty-eight years as an official in the British Council, which supervises overseas educational and cultural affairs for the British government. He served in Europe, Persia, and Pakistan. Queen Elizabeth II twice decorated him for this work.
After his first wife (Maud) died, King married his second cousin, Patricia, who was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He joined the Church and, in 1971, he joined the faculty of Brigham Young University, where he taught English and served as an associate director of the University’s Honors Program. Following his retirement from BYU, he presided over the London England Temple of the Church.
King had an international reputation as a poet, author, and lecturer. He produced works on sixteenth and seventeenth century literature and English as a foreign language. King asserted that poet Andrew Marvell was a principal influence on his work, and also acknowledged the influence of T. S. Elliot and Yeats.
He was a founding member of the Swedish Vetenskaps Society and a longtime member of Britain’s prestigious Athenaeum club.
King and his first wife were childless; their only son lived only one week. He was stepfather to his second wife’s three children. He died on January 15, 2000.