F. L. Lucas
Frank Laurence Lucas (28 December 1894 – 1 June 1967) was an English classical scholar, literary critic, poet, novelist, playwright, political polemicist, Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, and intelligence officer at Bletchley Park during World War II.
He is now best remembered for his scathing 1923 review of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and for his book Style (1955; revised 1962), an acclaimed guide to recognising and writing good prose. His Tragedy in Relation to Aristotle’s ‘Poetics’ (1927, substantially revised in 1957) was for over fifty years a standard introduction. His most important contribution to scholarship was his four-volume old-spelling Complete Works of John Webster (1927), the first collected edition of the Jacobean dramatist since that of Hazlitt the Younger (1857), itself an inferior copy of Dyce (1830). Eliot called Lucas “the perfect annotator”, and subsequent Webster scholars have been indebted to him, notably the editors of the new Cambridge Webster (1995–2007).Lucas is also remembered for his anti-fascist campaign in the 1930s, and for his wartime work at Bletchley Park, for which he received the OBE.