Yeats called him “the handsomest young man in England” and he was adored throughout Britain for his poetry as much as his legendary looks -- so how could someone as heroic as Rupert Brooke be killed by a mosquito bite when he was only twenty-seven? A star all his life, he blossomed at Cambridge, where he was one of the founders of the Marlowe Society acting club and a member of the Apostles. Throughout his schooling he had deep crushes on his male classmates, particularly Charles Lascelles and Michael Sadleir, and in his twenties dated both women and men, seeming proudest of his seduction of Denham Russell-Smith, the brother of a friend. (See his letters to James Strachey, which Brooke’s executors kept out of print for eighty-three years, until 1998.) His poetry is largely impersonal and, of course, he is most celebrated for his idealistic War Sonnets, having died soon after their publication, before he ever saw battle, en route with his Navy unit to Gallipoli. Two months after Brooke’s death, his younger brother William volunteered with the 8th Battalion London Regiment, known as the Post Office Rifles, and was killed in battle within twenty days. Still today, the Rupert Brooke Society erases his gay/bi side on their site. Brooke is, of course, one of the prevailing spirits behind Alan Hollinghurst's The Stranger's Child.