THOMAS, PHILIP EDWARD (1878 - 1917), poet

Name: Philip Edward Thomas
Date of birth: 1878
Date of death: 1917
Spouse: Helen Berenice Thomas (née Noble)
Child: Helen Elizabeth Myfanwy Thomas
Child: Bronwen Thomas
Child: Merfyn Thomas
Parent: Mary Elizabeth Thomas (née Townsend)
Parent: Philip Henry Thomas
Gender: Male
Occupation: poet
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Poetry
Author: Gwyn Jones

Born 3 March 1878, at Lambeth, son of Philip Henry Thomas, Tredegar, clerk in the civil service, and Mary Elizabeth (née Townsend). He was educated at S. Paul's School and Lincoln College, Oxford, 1898-1900, and early showed his love of the countryside, unspoiled people, and literature. He married Helen Berenice Noble, 20 June 1899; there were three children: Mervyn, born 1900, Bronwen 1904, and Helen Elizabeth Myfanwy 1910. After a couple of years in London they moved to Bearsted, Kent, in 1901, to the Weald (Sevenoaks), in 1903, and to Ashford, near Petersfield, in 1906. His first book, The Woodland Life, was published in 1897, and from then till early 1915 he was the slave of wholesale reviewing and the commissioned book. Oxford, Beautiful Wales, Richard Jeffries, A Literary Pilgrim in England, Feminine Influence on the Poets, Borrow, Swinburne, Marlborough, are a few titles from these years. Overwork and literary frustration increased his melancholy and told on his health. Among his friends were 'Dad' Uzzell, W. H. Davies, Gordon Bottomley, Gwili (John Jenkins, 1872 - 1936), and Edward Garnett. In July 1915 he enlisted in the Artists' Rifles, was transferred to the Artillery later, went to France in February 1917, and was killed at Arras 9 April of that year. Some six months before enlisting he had begun, under the influence of Robert Frost and with the pen name 'Edward Eastaway,' to write the poems on which his fame now rests secure. His Collected Poems appeared in 1920 with a preface by Walter de la Mare. His poems and Helen Thomas's As It Was and World Without End are his enduring memorials.


Published date: 1959

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