Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was an Indian writer, poet, composer, artist, and social activist. His works greatly influenced the literature and music of Bengal. He became the first non-European who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (1913). Translations of his poetry were regarded as spiritual literature and together with his charisma, created an image of the prophet Tagore in the West.
Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 6, 1861 in Kolkata in a wealthy family. Tagore’s parents had fourteen children, of which he was the youngest.
He began to write poetry at the age of eight. He received a good education: he studied at Eastern Seminary in Calcutta, in the normal school and the Bengal Academy.
In 1873, together with his father, Tagore traveled to the north of India, which gave him the idea of the wealth of centuries-old Indian culture. In 1878, Tagore published his first poem titled "History of the poet." In the same year, Tagore went to London to study law at University College.
In 1890, he became manager of the family estate in East Bengal. The main theme of poems written by Tagore in the period from 1890 to 1891 years was the landscapes and traditions of rural life.
In 1891, Tagore moved to the family estate near Calcutta, where, along with five like-minded persons, he opened a school. To raise money for the school, he was forced to sell the copyright to his works.
The first decade of the 20th century for Tagore was overshadowed by personal loss – the death of his wife in 1902, one of the daughters in 1903 and the youngest son in 1907.
In 1912, in London Tagore’s works were published in author translations into English, after which it came to prominence in the UK and the U.S.
In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He gave the prize money to his school, which later became the first university with free training in India.
In the following years, he made numerous trips to the USA, South America, Europe, and the Middle East. Tagore received honorary degrees from four Indian universities and an honorary doctorate from Oxford University. Rabindranath Tagore is the author of anthems of India and Bangladesh.
In 1915, Tagore was bestowed the title of knight, which he refused in 1919 after the shooting of civilians in Amritsar. In 1921, together with the British agronomist and economist Leonard Elmhirst, Rabindranath founded in Surule Institute for the reconstruction of agriculture, later renamed in Shriniketan (Resident Welfare).
The last four years of his life were darken by chronic pain and two long periods of illness. After a long illness, Rabindranath Tagore died on August 7, 1941 at the estate Jorasanko.
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