born Feb. 11, 1912, Failsworth,
died Sept. 27, 1991, London
British poet and novelist, best known for
his concise and observant verse chronicling
the daily routines of home and office.
Educated privately in Lancashire, Fuller
became a solicitor in 1934 and served in the
Royal Navy (1941–45) during World War II.
After the war he pursued a dual career as a
lawyer and a man of letters; he served as
assistant solicitor (1938–58) and then
solicitor (1958–69) for the Woolwich
Equitable Building Society, and he was
professor of poetry at the University of
Oxford from 1968 to 1973. He was made a
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Fuller’s first volume of poetry appeared
in 1939. The poems published in The Middle
of a War (1942) and A Lost Season (1944)
chronicle his wartime service and show him
intensely concerned with the social and
political conditions of his time. Epitaphs
and Occasions (1949) satirized the postwar
world, but in Brutus’s Orchard (1957) and
Collected Poems, 1936–61 (1962), Fuller
adopted a more reflective tone and showed
greater interest in psychological and
philosophical subjects. A lucid and detached
tone persists in such later volumes as Buff
(1965), New Poems (1968), From the Joke Shop
(1975), and Available for Dreams (1989) as
the poet sardonically reflects on old age.
New and Collected Poems, 1934–84 (1985) is
an authoritative collection of his verse.
Available for Dreams (1989) and Last Poems
(1993) contain his last verse.
Fuller wrote several novels, including
Image of a Society (1956), which portrays
the personal and professional conflicts
within a building society (savings and loan
association); The Ruined Boys (1959); and My
Child, My Sister (1965). He also wrote crime
thrillers and juvenile fiction, and his
memoirs were published in four volumes from
1980 to 1991.