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R. S. Thomas ? Letters to Raymond Garlick, 1951-1999 by R. S. Thomas, Raymond Garlick

R. S. Thomas ? Letters to Raymond Garlick, 1951-1999



R. S. Thomas ? Letters to Raymond Garlick, 1951-1999 by R. S. Thomas, Raymond Garlick

R. S. Thomas's letters to Raymond Garlick, providing insight to the great poet's artistic, religious and political ideas. Includes biographical and background notes by Jason Walford Davies.


The publication of letters by one of the supreme British poets of the twentieth century can only be welcomed, although here we only have one side of a long lasting correspondence. There are 152 letters in all and Jason Walford Davies provides invaluable annotations as well as an illuminating introduction.

By most peoples standards, R.S. was the soul of formality during the first seven years of the correspondence addressing his letters to Dear Mr Garlick. He was fully aware of his reputation as the ogre of Wales and some of his angst will be found here. When he was vicar there, he described the village of Aberdaron as one of the most ignorant and obsequious parts of the country.

But it would be wrong to create the impression that this sets the tone for the book. Thomas writes for much of the time about his son Gwydion as well as forthcoming engagements and other fairly mundane day-to-day matters. Given that Raymond Garlick is a Roman Catholic it is perhaps surprising that there is no exchange of views in religious matters.

Some readers may regard at least some of the letters as tittle-tattle, but none the less they do sometimes reveal interesting insights. It would have been interesting if we could have read Garlicks response to each of these letters.

Gomer are to be congratulated on the design of the book. It is a pleasure to handle.

Dewi Roberts

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar, trwy ganiatd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru. -- Welsh Books Council

About the Author

Dr Jason Walford Davies graduated in Welsh at the University of Wales, Bangor in 1993, and was appointed the same year to a lectureship in the Department of Welsh at Bangor. He is currently Senior Lecturer and Co-Director of the R. S. Thomas Research Centre at the University of Wales, Bangor. Jason Walford Davies's main research interests are medieval and twentieth-century Welsh literature, and Welsh Writing in English. He has written extensively on the work of R. S. Thomas; his publications include R. S. Thomas: Autobiographies (J. M. Dent: 1997) and Gororau'r laith ('The Borders of Language') (University of Wales Press: 2003). The latter is a critical survey of Thomas's relation to the Welsh literary tradition and was placed on the shortlist for the Arts Council of Wales/ Welsh Books Council Book of the Year Award, 2004.

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd May 2009


R. S. Thomas, Raymond Garlick

More books by R. S. Thomas, Raymond Garlick
Author 'Like for Like'


Gomer Press


206 pages


Diaries, letters & journals
Literary studies: poetry & poets
Literary studies: from c 1900 -



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