John Mole

The Literary Life

Edward Thomas, A Language not to be Betrayed (Selected Prose)

By

Carcanet 290 pp. £9.95 order from our bookshop

For Edward Thomas the literary life was addictive and an anathema. Many of us, I suspect, have discovered this in the same way; that is, by turning to his correspondence and to the autobiographies of his wife and Eleanor Farjeon after having been intimately moved by the poems. We have retraced the steps towards a destination, out of a curious feeling of kinship, and experienced a journey marked by passion, melancholy; frustration, extreme generosity, violent outbursts, candour and integrity. A life strangely complete in its profound restlessness, and of which the poetry is both the essence and the redemption.

Sign Up to our newsletter

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

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,
    • 'We read from left to right and from start to finish. Or do we?' Stuart Hannabus considers the merits of reading i… ,
    • Domestic scandal, sexual abuse and serial killers are on the menu in April's crime round-up. revie… ,
    • What did Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds, James Boswell and Edmund Burke all have in common? Clare Bucknell reveal… ,
    • 'Behind Berlusconi’s greasepaint and his rictus grin, the performance of Toni Servillo suggests the affectless holl… ,