Paths to Glory :a study of Edward Thomas's journeys towards Epiphany

Cobby, Heather M (2012) Paths to Glory :a study of Edward Thomas's journeys towards Epiphany. Masters thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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This study sets out to explore in the poet Edward Thomas's prose writings, the idea of the journey in fact, trope and symbol. It uses a combination of investigative and interpretative methods to obtain a clear picture of Thomas as a writer. His prose, critically neglected for a long while, reveals vital insights into his responses to nature and also his moments of ecstasy and depression and provides a new angle on his religious spirituality. He was a writer who was metaphorically always on the road, searching for something that was frequently a surprise moment of ecstasy, yet paradoxically for him these moments arrived unsought. Throughout his writings there is a sense of yearning, interpreted in this investigation as mainly hiraeth for Wales. This longing appeared to be for an ideal home, a sense of belonging in nature, to his friends, to his wider family and the whole universe and his prose usefully demonstrates the fulfilment of these longings. He was also often seeking towards an idea of the 'divine' in nature and the study also addresses the question of how far his spirituality could be said to be mystic. Critics believe that his seeking was solely towards the goal of poetry and a new way of expression but this study demonstrates that this was only one aim. When it blossoms, his poetry is characterised throughout by the same sense of yearning and searching. His journeys are similar to those of the wandering Celtic pilgrims travelling towards and into the wildness of nature, but he was happiest when pursuing an actual goal, the 'mildness and wildness' of Coleridge and the area of the Romantic poets. He has left us a legacy of a modern, twentieth century spirituality, wondering and questioning, open to self-doubt but always sure about his talent.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Related URLs:
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR500 Poetry
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2022 11:03
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2022 11:04

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