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Private Thomas

Andrew Motion

19 December 1985
Edward ThomasA Port rait 
by R. George Thomas.
Oxford, 331 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 19 818527 8
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... R. George Thomas is a cautious man. His life of Edward Thomas (no relation) is ‘a port rait’ not ‘a biography ...
2 April 1981
The Poetry of Edward Thomas 
by Andrew Motion.
Routledge, 193 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 7100 0471 0
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... The publishers say that The Poetry of Edward Thomas is the first full-length study to deal exclusively with Thomas’s poetry (in Britain, they must mean ...

Obstacles

Penelope Fitzgerald

4 July 1996
Edward ThomasSelected Letters 
edited by R. George Thomas.
Oxford, 192 pp., £30, March 1996, 0 19 818562 6
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... It would be quite possible to read about Edward Thomas and wonder how it was that so many people made such allowances for him. A man who had a house built for himself and then refused to live in it, he tormented his wife and children with his restlessness – he calculated he was never happy for more than a quarter of an hour in the day ...
5 May 1988
Under Storm’s Wing 
by Helen Thomas and Myfanwy Thomas.
Carcanet, 318 pp., £14.95, February 1988, 0 85635 733 2
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... The structural ironies of Edward Thomas’s life still condition his reputation. Just as he made a late poetic start, so criticism has been slow to gather momentum ...

I fret and fret

Adam Phillips: Edward Thomas

5 November 2015
Edward ThomasFrom Adelstrop to Arr</span>as 
by Jean Moorc roft Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 480 pp., £25, May 2015, 978 1 4081 8713 5
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... Edward Thomas​ believed that up to about the age of four what he called ‘a sweet darkness’ enfolded him ‘with a faint blessing’. It was, though, a darkness and the blessing was faint. ‘From an early age’, Jean Moorc roft Wilson writes, Thomas ‘felt cursed by a self-consciousness he believed the chief cause of his later problems and depression ...

Loose Woven

Peter Howarth: Edward Thomas’s contingencies

4 August 2005
Collected Poems 
by Edward Thomas, edited by R. George Thomas.
Faber, 264 pp., £12.99, October 2004, 0 571 22260 9
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... The blurb on this excellent new and expanded edition of Edward Thomas’s Collected Poems tells you that Thomas was ‘one of the great English poets of the 20th century’, which is true, and that he was not really a ‘war poet’ but a lonely nature poet, which is slightly less tru...

Z/R

John Banville: Exit Zuckerman

4 October 2007
Exit Ghost 
by Philip Roth.
Cape, 292 pp., £16.99, October 2007, 978 0 224 08173 3
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... A large part of the reason for the continuing democratic vigour of the American novel is that the great wave of Modernism was no more than a ripple by the time it reached New England’s shore...

Weasel, Magpie, Crow

Mark Ford: Edward Thomas

1 January 2009
Edward ThomasThe Annotated Collected Poems 
edited by Edna Longley.
Bloodaxe, 335 pp., £12, June 2008, 978 1 85224 746 1
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... Prends l’éloquence et tords-lui son cou!’ Verlaine resonantly, and eloquently, declared in his ‘Art poétique’ of 1874. The line must have lodged in Edward Thomas’s mind: in May 1914, some six months before his late efflorescence into verse at the age of 36, he wrote to Robert Frost of his longing to ‘wring all the necks of my rhetoric – the geese ...

Hanging Offence

David Sylvester

21 October 1993
... The Royal Academy’s exhibition of ‘American Art in the 20th Century’ at Burlington House and the Saatchi Gallery is a honeymoon with a marvellous girl who has been stitched into her nightie ...

He fights with flashing weapons

Katherine Rundell: Thomas Wyatt

6 December 2012
Thomas Wyatt: The Heart’s Forest 
by Susan Brigden.
Faber, 714 pp., £30, September 2012, 978 0 571 23584 1
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Graven with Diamonds: The Many Lives of Thomas Wyatt: Courtier, Poet, Assassin, Spy 
by Nicola Shulman.
Short Books, 378 pp., £20, April 2011, 978 1 906021 11 5
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... Before Anne Boleyn laid her head on the executioner’s block, she bent and wrapped the hem of her dress around her feet ...
5 March 1981
Precipitous City 
by Trevor  Royle.
Mainstream, 210 pp., £6.95, May 1980, 0 906391 09 1
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RLS: A Life Study 
by Jenni Calder</a>.
Hamish Hamilton, 362 pp., £9.95, June 1980, 0 241 10374 6
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Gillespie 
by J. MacDougall Hay.
Canongate, 450 pp., £4.95, November 1979, 0 903937 79 4
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Scottish Satirical Vers
edited by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 236 pp., £6.95, June 1980, 0 85635 183 0
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Collected Poems 
by Robert Garioch.
Carcanet, 208 pp., £3.95, July 1980, 0 85635 316 7
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... Litera ry travellers, getting off the train at Waverley Station, Edinburgh, must have wondered if there are other cities which can boast a main point of entry, an introductory landmark, named after a novel ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2009

7 January 2010
... 1 January, Yorkshire. Ill over Christmas I say to Ernest Coultherd, a farmer in the village, that my Christmas dinner consisted of a poached egg ...
7 November 2019
... The​ Museum of Modern Art in New York is Modernism Central, so when it makes a major move, such as the recent expansion (the doors reopened on 21 October), the entire field shifts with it ...
6 December 1984
The Lyttelton Hart-Davis LettersCorr</span>espondence of George Lyttelton and Rupert Hart-Davis. 
edited by Rupert Hart-Davis.
Murr</span>ay, 193 pp., £13.50, April 1984, 0 7195 4108 5
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... We now have the sixth and final volume of the Lyttelton Hart-Davis Letters. George Lyttelton died on 1 May 1962, thus ending a correspondence which had begun in 1955; the first of the volumes edited by the survivor was published in 1978, the rest have appeared at intervals since ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: A Shameful Year

8 January 2004
... 1 January 2003. A Christmas card from Eric Korn: This is the one about Jesus And his father who constantly sees us Like CCTV from above But they call it heavenly love; And the other a spook or a bird Or possibly merely a Word ...

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