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Swift radiant morning

D.J. Enright, 21 February 1991

The Collected Letters of Charles Hamilton Sorley 
edited by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Cecil Woolf, 310 pp., £25, November 1990, 9780900821547
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Ivor Gurney: Collected Letters 
edited by R.K.R  Thornton.
Mid-Northumberland Arts Group/Carcanet, 579 pp., £25, February 1991, 0 85635 941 6
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... absurdly impertinent, suspiciously like the unwisdom of hindsight. In his fine edition R.K.R. Thornton excludes letters dated later than the end of 1922, when Gurney was transferred to the City of London Mental Hospital in Dartford, on the grounds that they would require a second volume and he does not wish to reinforce the idea of Gurney as the ‘mad ...

Symbolism, Expressionism, Decadence

Frank Kermode, 24 January 1980

Romantic Roots in Modern Art 
by August Wiedmann.
Gresham, 328 pp., £8.50, July 1980, 0 905418 51 4
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Symbolism 
by Robert Goldwater.
Allen Lane, 286 pp., £12.95, November 1980, 9780713910476
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Decadence and the 1890s 
edited by Ian Fletcher.
Arnold, 216 pp., £9.95, July 1980, 0 7131 6208 2
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... of Nineties studies, contributes a valuable essay on the important magazines of the time. R.K.R. Thornton, in another good essay, points out that the term was less available after the trial of Oscar Wilde: Symons planned a book called The Decadent Movement in Literature, but when it appeared in 1899 it was called The Symbolist Movement instead, and it ...

Gurney’s Flood

Donald Davie, 3 February 1983

Geoffrey Grigson: Collected Poems 1963-1980 
Allison and Busby, 256 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 85031 419 4Show More
The Cornish Dancer 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Secker, 64 pp., £4.95, June 1982, 0 436 18805 8
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The Private Art: A Poetry Notebook 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, 231 pp., £9.95, November 1982, 0 85031 420 8
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Blessings, Kicks and Curses: A Critical Collection 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Allison and Busby, £9.95, November 1982, 0 85031 437 2
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Collected Poems of Ivor Gurney 
edited by P.J. Kavanagh.
Oxford, 284 pp., £12, September 1982, 0 19 211940 0
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War Letters 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by R.K.R. Thornton.
Mid-Northumberland Arts Group/Carcanet, 271 pp., £12, February 1983, 0 85635 408 2
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... is, by and large, the author only of the less consequential poems. Partly this is because R.K.R. Thornton, working on a limited budget, chose reasonably enough to represent only the soldier, the Gurney who was yet to write the poems by which he has a claim on us. In fact, the Gurney who writes from the trenches still thinks of himself as musician first, poet ...

How the sanity of poets can be edited away

Arnold Rattenbury: The Sanity of Ivor Gurney, 14 October 1999

‘Severn and Somme’ and ‘War’s Embers’ 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 152 pp., £7.95, September 1997, 1 85754 348 3
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80 Poems or So 
by Ivor Gurney, edited by George Walter and R.K.R. Thornton.
Carcanet, 148 pp., £9.95, January 1997, 1 85754 344 0
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... collection was scattered. By a complicated process, involving much research outside the archive, Thornton and Walter claim to have reassembled the papers distributed by Blunden, Joy Finzi and others and, accepting Gurney’s description, have published them as 80 Poems or So. An introduction and textual backnotes detail this considerable piece of detective ...

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