Jean Moorcroft Wilson will be presenting her paper, ‘Edward Thomas: From Adlestrop to Arras’, at 5.15pm on Tuesday, 18 October 2011. The talk will take place in the Cardiff Humanities Building, Room 2.48.
How did Edward Thomas, whose best-known poem ‘Adlestrop’ is about an unaccustomed halt at a deserted country station, come to join the ranks of the greatest First World War poets? Had he, for example, sailed with Robert Frost to America in February 1915 (as he seriously contemplated doing) his story and his work would have been very different. Instead, in July 1915, after months of indecision, he enlisted and by late January 1917 was in France. Just over two months later he was dead, killed on the first day of the Battle of Arras, 9 April 1917. The story of his vacillations and of his eventual enlistment is of particular interest, highlighting, as it does, the myriad different reasons why men like Thomas—‘doubting Thomas’—finally decided to fight.
The talk will be followed by a wine reception.
About the speaker
Jean Moorcroft Wilson won an Exhibition to London University, where she also gained her BA, MA and PhD. She started her career as Visiting Lecturer in English at the University of Munich. Since then she has lectured in English at the University of London and teaches regularly for the Dominican University of Chicago’s London Programme and the University of Cape Town. She also works with her husband, Cecil Woolf, in their long-established independent publishing house and is General Editor of their Bloomsbury Heritage, War Poets and Poets of the 1890s series. She is the author of numerous books on writers of the early twentieth century, among them Virginia Woolf, Life and London: A Biography of Place (1987), Isaac Rosenberg: The Making of a Great War Poet (2008) and Rupert Brooke among the War Poets (2011).