Edward Thomas

Thomas, Edward, 1878–1917, English poet, b. London, studied at Oxford. Forced to earn a living for his young family, Thomas began his literary career writing prose: dozens of essays on a wide array of subjects; 20 books, including a novel and many on travel and nature, e.g., The South Country, 1909, that deepened the genre; critical studies of Keats, Swinburne, Pater, and others; and hundreds of book reviews. Discerning and a superb stylist, he was a particularly fine poetry critic. His friendship with Robert Frost, which began in 1912, encouraged him to write poetry, and army life during World War I freed him from the drudgery of prose composition. His first volume, Six Poems (1916), mostly pastoral verse, was published shortly before he was killed in the battle of Arras. A poet of the English countryside, Thomas wrote his 144 poems in the last two years of his life. His gentle verse was marked by a clarity of observation combined with a use of natural speech rhythms that brought him great critical acclaim, especially among his fellow poets.

See his collected poems (1920, rev. ed. 1936); Selected Letters (1996), ed. by R. G. Thomas; G. Cuthbertson and L. Newlyn, ed., Edward Thomas: Prose Writings: A Selected Edition (2 vol., 2011–); biographies by R. P. Eckert (1937) and M. Hollis (2012); studies by W. Cooke (1970) and H. Coombes (1956, repr. 1973).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on Edward Thomas from Fact Monster:

  • Edward Donnall Thomas - Thomas, Edward Donnall Thomas, Edward Donnall, 1920–, American physician, b. Mart, Tex., M.D. ...
  • Thomas Chester (Chet) EDWARDS - EDWARDS, Thomas Chester (Chet) (1951—) EDWARDS, Thomas Chester (Chet), a Representative from ...
  • Lyman Beecher - Beecher, Lyman Beecher, Lyman, 1775–1863, American Presbyterian clergyman, b. New Haven, ...
  • Sackville, Thomas, 1st earl of Dorset - Sackville, Thomas, 1st earl of Dorset Sackville, Thomas, 1st earl of Dorset, 1536–1608, ...
  • Tom Brady - Biography of Tom Brady, Quarterback of the New England Patriots and two-time Super Bowl MVP

See more Encyclopedia articles on: English Literature, 19th cent.: Biographies

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe