Edwin Muir (May 15, 1887 –January 3, 1959) was a poet, novelist and translator remembered for his deeply felt and vivid poetry in plain language with few stylistic preoccupations. Born in Deerness on the Orkney Island, Muir’s father lost his farm when he was 14 and the family moved to Glasgow. In quick succession his father, two brothers, and his mother died within the space of a few years. In 1919, Muir married Willa Anderson and the two moved to London. They would later collaborate on highly acclaimed English translations of such writers as Franz Kafka, Gerhart Hauptmann, Sholem Asch, Heinrich Mann, and Hermann Broch.
Between 1921 and 1923, Muir lived in Prague, Dresden, Italy, Salzburg and Vienna, returning to the United Kingdom in 1924. Between 1925 and 1956, Muir published seven volumes of poetry which were collected after his death and published in 1991 as The Complete Poems of Edwin Muir. From 1927 to 1932, he published three novels, and in 1935 he came to St Andrews, where he produced his controversial Scott and Scotland (1936) that advanced the claim that Scotland can create a national literature only by writing in English. From 1946 to 1949, he was Director of the British Council in Prague and Rome. In 1950, Muir was appointed as Warden of Newbattle Abbey College in Midlothian. In 1955, he was made Norton Professor of English at Harvard University.