A war poet is not one who chooses to commemorate or celebrate a war, but one who reacts against having a war thrust upon him. Along with Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, Edward Thomas is, by any reckoning, a major World War I poet.
Alongside an illuminating understanding of Thomasís poetry, Jean Moorcroft Wilson explores the intriguing circumstances of the poetís life: his early marriage, his dependence on laudanum, his lively social life, which included many notable writers--among them Joseph Conrad, Edward Garnett, Rupert Brooke, and Hilaire Belloc--and even a mťnage ŗ trois with novelist Eleanor Farjeon. But though Thomasís personal life is the stuff of which myths are made--which posterity has been quick to oblige--Wilson pushes against this instinct, arguing that it has obscured Thomasís true worth as a writer.
Edward Thomasís poems were not published until some months after his death in 1917, but they have never since been out of print. Described by Ted Hughes as "the father of us all," Thomas occupies a crucial place in the development of twentieth century poetry, with a distinctively modern sensibility remarkably in tune with our twenty-first century outlook. This is the extraordinary life of a poetic genius.