Born in the town of Rugby in 1887, the fun-loving, spirited, and handsome young poet Rupert Brooke would tragically be cut down in the very prime of life, and would become the patriotic hero for a generation of dead Britons. Brooke was sailing for what may have been ill-fated appointment with destiny at Gallipoli after enlisting during the First World War when he contracted blood poisoning, which lead to his death on April 23
In the wake of his death his sonnet titled “The Solidier” proclaimed publicly in a ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral. When his obituary was printed with the initials of Winston Churchill as a watermark lying beneath, Brooke unofficially was canonized as the poetic speaker for all the dead that drown in the bloodbath of English involvement in the Great War.
Also in the wake of his tragically young death under tragically patriotic circumstances came sales. The two collections titled 1914 and Other Poems and Collected Poems would nearly break records for such a young writer. Their combined sales in excess of 300,000 volumes also served to guarantee that Brooke’s popularity would extend beyond the faddishness spike accrued as a result of his status as the patriotic poet of death.