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No poetry has touched readers' hearts more deeply than the soldier poets of the First World War. Published to commemorate the centenary of 1914, this stunning set of books, with specially commissioned covers by leading print makers, is an essential gathering of our most beloved war poets introduced by leading poets and biographers of our present day.
When Edward Thomas was killed at the Battle of Arras in 1917 his poems were largely unpublished. But in the years since his death, his work has come to be cherished for its rare, sustained vision of the natural world and as 'a mirror of England' (Walter de la Mare). This edition, drawn from Thomas's manuscripts and typescripts as well as from his published works, offers an accessible introduction to this most resonant and relevant of poets.
Edward Thomas was born in Lambeth, London, in 1878, and educated at St Paul's College and Lincoln College, Oxford. Though his reputation is built on his poetry which he took up at the suggestion of his friend Robert Frost he was also a prolific writer of prose, much of it dedicated to capturing his love of the English countryside. Thomas voluntarily enlisted in the Artists' Rifles in 1915 and was commissioned into the Royal Garrison Artillery in 1916. He was killed in action at Arras on 9 April 1917. He is buried in France and commemorated in Westminster Abbey.
Matthew Hollis is the author of Ground Water, short listed for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Now All Roads Lead to France is his first prose book which was the winner of the Costa Biography Prize in 2012.