Rabindranath Tagore was an Indian nationalist, dramatist, social reformer, educationist and artist, but ultimately saw himself first and foremost as a poet. Born in 1861, Calcutta, he was the youngest son in a family of fourteen children. An early writer of verse, he wrote in his native Bengali as well as English, and in 1878, came to Britain to attend lectures at University College, London. He returned to India but would continue to visit Britain on and off until his 70s. While in India he published several books of poetry, most notably Masani, before returning to London in June 1912 with Gitanjali - an English translation of poems from his Bengali verse collections. Translated by Tagore himself and published by the India Society of London, Gitanjali won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. His poetry spoke to a historic moment in the development of modern India and, catapulted to worldwide fame, Tagore spent long periods lecturing and reading from his work in Europe, East Asia, and the Americas, becoming a spokesperson for the cause of Indian independence. A polymath, Tagore was also a composer, dramatist, painter, and essayist. To this day, he holds a revered place in the Indian imagination as the national poet.