David Jones and the Great War

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-11-01
  • Publisher: Enitharmon Press
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The great modernist artist and poet David Jones grew up in Brockley, London. He finished art school in the summer of 1913, ready to pursue a career as an artist. But then Britain declared war on Germany, and Jones joined the army. He was sent to France in 1915, serving in the same regiment as Robert Graves; unlike him, however, he was a private, a rank he kept throughout the war. He fought in and survived the Somme, Ypres and Passchendaele, experiencing the war of the common soldier – the camaraderie, the humour, the grief, and above all the senseless, mechanised brutality – all under the stress of years of relentless artillery fire. Now, thanks to Thomas Dilworth's painstaking research, including scores of personal interviews, Jones's story can be told in detail. Accompanying the text are photographs of Jones and his wartime sketches and writings, many previously unpublished, and seven fully rendered drawings not seen since the war. The quickly drawn pencil sketches of infantrymen, landscapes, ruined villages and still- lifes bring the story to life as works of documentary realism.

Author Biography

Thomas Dilworth is a Killam Fellow and a Professor in the English Department at the University of Windsor, Ontario. He has published widely on Modern literature and Romantic poetry and is the author of The Shape of Meaning in the Poetry of David Jones (1988), which won the British Council Prize in the Humanities, and Reading David Jones (2008). He edited Inner Necessities: the Letters of David Jones to Desmond Chute (1984), and David Jones’s Wedding Poems (2002) and Jones’s illustrated Rime of the Ancient Mariner (2005) both published by Enitharmon. He is publishing critical introductions and afterwords for bilingual (English/French) editions of The Anathemata, The Sleeping Lord and The Ancient Mariner and is currently writing Jones’s biography.

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