Dymock Poets Special Collection Update

Cataloguing of the Dymock Poets Special Collection is reaching the final stages with only the material from Myfanwy Thomas (Edward Thomas’s youngest daughter) left to sort. The rest of the catalogue is now complete and available to search online.

The cataloguing project has uncovered a wealth of interesting and unique material charting the poets’ lives (Lascelles Abercrombie, Rupert Brooke, John Drinkwater, Robert Frost, Wilfrid Wilson Gibson and Edward Thomas), their time in Dymock and the wider academic and popular interest they have generated over the last century. Original letters by Edward Thomas sit alongside a vast array of articles, essays, event information and photographs.

Highlights from the collection include:

  • Annual Christmas greetings cards from Robert Frost
  • Original letters from Eleanor Farjeon to Rowland Watson
  • Original manuscript of the poem “Walking Tom” by Clifford Bax and Herbert Farjeon
  • Eleanor Farjeon’s notes on meeting Robert Frost for the final time in 1957
  • Handwritten lecture notes by Lascelles Abercrombie
  • Audio interviews with Abercrombie’s wife, Catherine
  • Original letters from Helen Thomas to Jo Dawson
  • Many photocopies letters from Edward Thomas [to Robert Frost and others]; Lascelles Abercrombie, John Drinkwater, Wilfrid Wilson Gibson [to Rupert Brooke and Edward Marsh]; John Freeman and Wilfrid Wilson Gibson [to John Wilton Haines] where the originals are held in other repositories
  • Personal First World War papers belonging to Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
  • Rupert Brooke’s assignment of copyright signed by his mother Mary Ruth Brooke
  • Original letters from various sources and manuscript “Memories of Edward Thomas” compiled by Rowland Watson using these original accounts
  • Handwritten poetry by John Drinkwater
  • Handwritten poetry and original letters of Edward Thomas, some unpublished
  • Framed pencil drawing of W H Davies [1871 – 1940] by John Wheatley [1892 – 1955], ARA

The last series of documents to catalogue was received from Myfanwy Thomas via The Edward Thomas Fellowship. The material continues the trend of offering a vast source of information, this time on Edward Thomas, lovingly curated by Myfanwy during the later years of her life. The material was received over a period of time and as there was no original order it falls to archive staff to sort the documents prior to writing the catalogue descriptions.

 

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Sorting material from Myfanwy Thomas

One of the boxes the material arrived in unknowingly paid tribute to Thomas:

 

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Edward Thomas lived at The Red House in Hampshire from 1909 – 1913

It is sad to think work on cataloguing this collection is drawing to an end as it has been a fascinating experience but great to know that everyone can now access the delights it holds.

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