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He was encouraged in his early literary ambitions by the critic James Ashcroft Noble, with his first book, The Woodland Life, appearing in 1897. Thomas married Noble's daughter Helen (1877-1967) in 1899, graduated from Lincoln College in 1900, then made his living writing literary reviews for the Daily Chronicle as well as essays, anthologies, guidebooks and folk-tales. He published further books, including The Heart of England (1906), The Happy-Go-Lucky Morgans (1913), The Icknield Way (1913) and In Pursuit of Spring (1914) and biographies of several literary figures. It was only in 1914 that Thomas wrote his first 'real' poem; over the next two years he wrote over one hundred and forty.

In 1915 Thomas joined the Artists' Rifles, was commissioned second lieutenant in 1916 and volunteered for service overseas. He was killed in action on 9 April 1917 during the battle of Arras. His Poems (1917), Last Poems (1918) and Collected Poems (1920) therefore all appeared posthumously. His wife Helen wrote of their time together in As It Was (1926) and World Without End (1931).

Other manuscripts

For other papers of Edward Thomas see:

For other papers of Helen Thomas see:

Other papers at the Library relating to Edward Thomas include:

Digital Gallery

A selection of the manuscripts have been digitised: