David Jones in the Great War by Thomas Dilworth - review by Ariane Bankes

Ariane Bankes

Front Lines

David Jones in the Great War


Enitharmon Press 228pp £15

When the artist David Jones’s book-length meditation on the Great War, In Parenthesis, was published in 1937 by Faber, it established him immediately as one of the most singular poets of the day. T S Eliot, who championed Jones at Faber, was delighted to discover in this ‘work of genius’ an entirely original voice, one that combined a startling modernism with a sensibility drenched in myth and history. The 40,000-word epic of prose and verse that reimagined Jones’s experiences as a private at the Western Front with extraordinary immediacy and depth was garlanded with praise, winning the Hawthornden Prize in 1938, then the only literary prize worth winning.

By the late 1920s David Jones was already considered England’s foremost engraver and an artist of note: Ben Nicholson set about recruiting him for the Seven and Five Society (members included Nicholson’s wife Winifred, Christopher Wood and Barbara Hepworth), and he was starting to exhibit with success in London’s major

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

RLF - March