Dylan Thomas: The Collected Letters

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9780460879996: Dylan Thomas: The Collected Letters

Dylan Thomas's letters bring the poet and his times to life in a way that almost no biography can. First published by J. M. Dent in 1985, Thomas's Collected Letters received exceptional reviews, both for the scholarship of the editor, and for the quality of the collection. This new edition will bring the letters back into print at a time when interest is renewed in the life of this exceptional writer. The letters begin in the poet's schooldays, and end just before his death in New York at the age of 39. In between, he loved, wrote, drank, begged and borrowed his way through a flamboyant life. He was an enthusiastic critic of other writers' work and the letters are full of his thoughts on his own work and on his friends, as well as unguarded and certainly unpolitical comments on the work of his contemporaries - T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden and Stephen Spender among others. ('Spender should be kicked...Day-Lewis hissed in public and have his balls beaten with a toffee hammer') More than a hundred new letters have been added since Paul Ferris edited the first edition of the Collected Letters in 1985. They cast Thomas's adolescence in Swansea and his love affair with Caitlin into sharper focus. Thomas's letters tell a remarkable story, each letter taking the reader a little further along the path of the poet's self-destruction, but written with such verve and lyricism that somehow the reader's sympathies never quite abandon him.

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About the Author:

Paul Ferris was born in Swansea in 1929. He is the author of an acclaimed biography of Dylan Thomas, reissued by Dent in 1999. He lives in Wales and London. Paul Ferris was born in Swansea in 1929. He is the author of an acclaimed biography of Caitlin Thomas and the editor of The Collected Letters of Dylan Thomas (Dent).

From Publishers Weekly:

Only some 300 of Thomas's letters have hitherto been published, and here are over 1000 of them, meticulously edited by his prize-winning biographer, a bonanza not simply for students of poetry but for anyone who enjoys good letters. "I hold a beast, an angel, and a madman in me," says Thomas in a letter to a friend, and these letters, extending from his adolescence to his death in Manhattan in 1953, at age 39, carefully composed as though with an eye to posterity, give plentiful evidence of all three, though the madness seems closer to cunning. Here is the bohemian poet "mad with words," self-obsessed, invariably hard up for cash, by turns malicious and disarmingly frank, always bubbling with life. There are letters to Eliot, Spender, Edith Sitwell, Graham Greene and Henry Miller; passionate effusions to his wife Caitlin; and, among the most interesting because of the long discussions of his craft they contain, letters to fellow Welsh poet Vernon Watkins and to Pamela Hansford-Johnson. Nearly all the letters stimulate and, despite Thomas's faults or because of them, entertain.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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