Chrisopher Brennan photo   Christopher Brennan (1870-1932)

Brief Biography

Christopher Brennan (1870-1932) was born in Sydney and educated at St Ignatius College on a scholarship founded by Cardinal Moran. After school he was expected to enrol in theology college but instead opted for Arts at the University of Sydney. He studied classics and philosophy and graduated in 1892. He won a scholarship in that year and travelled to the University of Berlin where he studied philosophy. Distracted by a love-affair and the attraction of French symbolist writers, he didn't complete his doctorate but returned to Sydney in 1894. He worked in the Public Library - while writing his first poetry - until 1909 when he was finally offered a position as a lecturer in modern literature at the University of Sydney, raising to associate professor in German and comparative literature. In 1897 Brennan publihsed a booklet of his poems titled XVIII Poems: Being the First Collection of Verse and Prose by Christopher Brennan, and followed this later in the year with XXI Poems: (1893-1897) Towards the Source. In December 1914 he published his major collection of works titled simply Poems, but which is usually referred to as Poems (1913).

Christopher Brennan died in 1932.


Poetry Collections
XVIII Poems: Being the First Collection of Verse and Prose by Christopher Brennan 1897
XXI Poems: (1893-1897) Towards the Source 1898
Poems (1913) 1914
A Chant of Doom and Other Verses 1918

Prose Collections
The Prose of Christopher Brennan edited by A.R. Chisholm and J.J. Quinn, 1962

Other Collections
Christopher Brennan: The Man and his Poetry edited by A.R. Chisholm, 1946
New Perspectives on Brennan's Poetry by G.A. Wilkes, 1953
Christopher Brennan edited by Terry Sturm, 1984

Selected Poetry

You can read the full text of the following Brennan poems:

Because She Would Ask Me Why I Loved Her
Epilogue 1908
Fire in the Heavens
I Am Shut Out of Mine Own Heart
Spring Breezes
Sweet Silence After Bells!
The Wanderer
Yellow Gas

This page and its contents are copyright 2002-06 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: December 2, 2006.