The Life & Works of Edward Thomas – REVIEW


Extract from the Petersfield Post, July 2014


1878 – 1917 a local man with an international reputation

Saturday 5 July at 7.30 pm

Tickets £5 from The Triangle, Liss or One Tree Books, Petersfield

Recognition as a world class poet came after Edward Thomas’ death in the First World War. Only in France for 2 months between February and April 1917 Thomas’ poetry has little to say about the war and far more to do with the arbitrariness of daily life, the beauty and solace to be gained from the natural world and the difficulty and challenges of personal relationships.
As with all writers of substance who have generously left us with a body of public and private work, we can look at the individual, their families and the world in which they lived.
Letters and diaries provide the background to published work and these will be used in this talk to help paint a picture of a life, often unhappy and conflicted, but nonetheless celebratory of the essence of living. The talk will be illustrated with photographs from the Thomas family album and contemporary sources together with images of Steep as it is today using the latest projection facilities at The Triangle Centre in Liss.

A bookstall from One Tree Books in Petersfield and a display by The Petersfield Museum will form part of this evening’s entertainment, with interval refreshments and the opportunity to talk to the speaker and other avid local historians.

This small corner of Hampshire has a remarkable number of literary connections including Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Cobbett, Flora Thompson, Gilbert White and Neville Shute.

The speaker, Julia Mayo, has lived and worked in Hampshire for 50 years and was fortunate enough to have been taught by, and worked with, several doyens of the literary heritage of the area; to name a few, Dr Anthony Crowe art historian and president of the William Cobbett Society for many years, Henry Jackson, who with his wife founded the Rural Life Museum in Tilford, Anne Mallinson, founder of the Selborne Circle of Rural Writers and proprietor of The Selborne Bookshop and Dr June Chatfield, past Curator at Gilbert White’s House and Museum in Selborne. The series of 6 literary walk leaflets devised by Julia and her colleague at the time, Robin Truscott, Countryside Manager for East Hampshire District Council and first published 20 years ago; are to be republished this year as part of the interpretation of the South Downs National Park in this area.

Proceeds in aid of the West Liss Pavilion Project and The Triangle Community Centre



See the play!

The Dark Earth and the Light Sky
25th – 28th, 30th June and 1st, 2nd July 2014
8pm The Thomas Lord Pub, West Meon
Tickets from £13 – please click image →


West Meon Theatre presents The Dark Earth and the Light Sky – the story of the final years of Hampshire poet Edward Thomas.

Deep in the Hampshire countryside Edward Thomas, disaffected husband, exhausted father and tormented writer, scrapes a living. In 1913 he meets American poet, Robert Frost, and everything changes. As their friendship blossoms Edwards writes, emerging from his cocoon of self-doubt into one of the most influential poets of the 20th Century. But he makes the drastic decision to enlist, confounding his friends and family.

The Dark Earth and the Light Sky premiered at the Almeida Theatre London in November 2012, delves into the life of this enigmatic and complex character in an era of change and destruction.

Read the book!

Click on One Tree Books’ online store below ↓

Walk the Edward Thomas Walk!

Follow the 3½ mile Edward Thomas Literary Walk round Steep and Ashford Hangers. Click image →