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Edward Thomas Collection

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0347 D112
Held at: Wandsworth Heritage Service
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Full title: Edward Thomas Collection
Date(s): 1897-1917
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 477 letters, two files and one book
Name of creator(s): Please contact the Archive for further information
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Edward Thomas was born on 3 March 1878 in Lambeth, and was educated at Battersea Grammar School, St Paul's School and Lincoln College, Oxford. He married in 1899, and began writing reviews for newspapers and magazines, particularly the Daily Chronicle. Despite regular reviewing work he had consistent financial worries, and made several attempts to find alternative work, few of which were successful. He suffered from depression for several years, including considering suicide, and spent time away from his family in the care of doctors in attempts to recover. In 1915 he decided to enlist in the Army, and was killed in action during the Battle of Arras on 9 April 1917.


Scope and content/abstract:

Letters from the poet, Edward Thomas, to Eleanor Farjeon, Ian McAlister, Irene and Hugh MacArthur and John Freeman. There is also a draft copy of Rowland Watson's book "Memories of Edward Thomas" and a copy of "Table Talk: being the discourses of John Selden". The correspondence to Eleanor Farjeon mainly discusses his work, both poetry and criticism, and he also comments on work she has sent him, as well as talking about his decision to join the Army and his worries over money. The letters to Irene and Hugh MacArthur are family letters, which give news of his own family and talk about their difficult financial situation. Thomas's letters to Ian McAlister cover his work, his family and his worries over his finances, but also discuss in detail his mental health, and refer to his struggles with depression and "nerves" in a very honest manner. The correspondence to John Freeman primarily relates to his work, and to Freeman's work, as well as to mutual friends.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing access:

This collection is available on microfilm and all access to the collection will be via microfilm in the first instance. This material is only available in the Wandsworth Heritage Service search room at Battersea Library. Please contact Heritage Service staff for more information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Finding aid created by export from CALM v8.0.2.40 Archives Hub EAD2002. Entry amended by Barbara Ball

Rules or conventions:
General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April 2011

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