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Under Storm's Wing Paperback – 26 Jun 1997
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About the Author
Helen Thomas married Edward Thomas (1878-1917) in 1899. In order to support his family, Edward became a prolific writer of essays, introductions, reviews, biographies, and studies of the English and Welsh countryside. Thomas's meeting with Robert Frost in 1913 was the catalyst for his turning to poetry. His first collection was published in 1917, six months after his death in the Arras offensive. Helen was untiring in her efforts to make his work known, and lived to see it firmly established in the cannon of English poetry. They had three children, of whom Myfanwy (b.1910) is the youngest.
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All, however, was not sweetness and light within this marriage. Because of Edward's desire to become a recognised writer and poet he rarely worked a `normal' job. He failed to be recognised within his lifetime. Recognition came posthumously. The consequence of this was that the Thomas family lived permanently on the financial edge. Morever, Edward was a manic depressive before the days when treatment was available. He was often away and sometimes unfaithful and sometimes mentally cruel to his totally devoted wife. Her love seemed to have known no bounds. Some would call this naïve and stupid, but actually her life defined, as it was, by Edward I found strangely to enoble Helen rather than to detract from her.
Peppered throughout much of As It Was and World Without End is an account of nature as observed and felt by Helen and more particularly Edward. This is sublime.
Later sections of the book include letters from Helen to various people. It is within these letters that we get a more balanced account of her life with Edward. They represent her life devoid of any gloss and make for interesting reading. Helen also gives accounts of various people who were important in their lives or like D.H. Lawrence were acquaintances, but fascinating nonetheless for giving snippets of what these people were like.
There is a section written by their youngest daughter Myfanwy and this gives a different slant on her parent's marriage and her experience of loosing her father, the effect upon her mother and their life afterwards. This section contains examples of her father's poetry.
Last but not least this book contains much that is of interest to the social historian, covering as it does the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Fascinating to read about their strolls across Wandsworth Common and walks to Richmond Park through largely rural areas, since covered by an expanded London.
A must read for all who appreciate sensitivity and raw human emotion.
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