Selected Letters

Selected Letters

Selected Letters

Selected Letters

Synopsis

Edward Thomas--professional author, essayist, and critic--was thirty-nine when he was killed at the Arras offensive in 1917. Six months later his first collection of poems was published and his literary reputation secured. These Selected Letters--many addressed to such luminaries as Robert Frost, Walter de la Mare, and Eleanor Farjeon--present a uniquely vivid portrait of his life, from his time as an undergraduate at Oxford through his final days at the front.

Excerpt

In 1928 the Welsh bard-theologian Gwili first introduced me to the poetry of his friend Edward Thomas. Since then, my knowledge of the poet has been extended by meetings with Gordon Bottomley, J. M. Thorburn, Rowland L. Watson, and three generations of the poet's family. Invaluable were discussions with his widow, Helen, during her last five years and, since 1967, the generosity of her daughter Myfanwy. She was responsible for the magnificent Edward Thomas Collection at the University of Wales, Cardiff, on which this selection is based. When publication was first discussed with John Bell and Kim Scott Walwyn, the late Professor A. J. Smith offered to share in the work. His death in 1991 was a severe loss to the entire project. His sound judgement would have helped in the complex integration of recently acquired Thomas material with the letters previously used in my portrait of the poet.

In March 1915, in a letter to Walter de la Mare, Thomas said of his own poetry: 'I wrote (if anything) with a feeling that I did use the Morse code. This is a fact. I only hope someone besides myself will catch the accent.' I hope this selection will further that process.

R. G. T.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.