Edward Thomas: Selected Prose Writings

Edward Thomas: Selected Prose Writings

Edward Thomas: Prose Writings: A Selected Edition.
Oxford University Press.
General Editors: Guy Cuthbertson and Lucy Newlyn
Edward Thomas: Prose Writings: A Selected Edition. Volume I. Autobiographies.
One of the ‘Books of the Year’ in The Times Literary Supplement.
Edward Thomas: Prose Writings: A Selected Edition. Volume II. England and Wales.

Chosen by Robert Macfarlane as his summer reading in The Observer.

In The Literary Review, Robert Macfarlane described the two volumes as ‘superbly edited’.


In progress: Edward Thomas: Prose Writings: A Selected Edition. Volume VI. Pilgrimages.


Along with Lucy Newlyn, I am a General Editor of Edward Thomas’s prose for Oxford University Press.  I am currently working on The Icknield Way and In Pursuit of Spring.
‘even a man walking for exercise may forget his object and unexpectedly profit; he may surprise happiness by the wayside or beyond the third stile, and no man can do more’
(Edward Thomas, The Icknield Way)
‘The Oxford Prose Writings, planned for six volumes (of which two were published in 2011), will unfold the energetic variety of Thomas’s prose work: critical reviews, biographies (which he considered hackwork), reflections on poetry, accounts of the British landscape, a short autobiography, a novel.’
Edward Thomas, England and Wales, ed. Guy Cuthbertson and Lucy Newlyn (Oxford University Press, 2011). Edward Thomas: Prose Writings: A Selected Edition. Volume II.
 – praised in a long review in the TLS by Paul Jarman, January 2012.  The introduction, written with Lucy Newlyn, is ‘excellent’.  ‘Prefaced with a biographical, contextual and thought-provoking critical introduction, and packed with footnotes which not only elucidate the text but also – and this is particularly strong – cross-refer the reader to related material elsewhere in Thomas’s poetry and prose, these volumes must plug some conspicuous gaps in university library holdings, and present Thomas scholars with the tools for a broader re-evaluation of his life’s work.’
The Year’s Work in English Studies (2013) recorded that ‘The year 2011 saw the publication of Cuthbertson, ed., Edward Thomas: Prose Writings, volume 1: Autobiographies and Cuthbertson and Newlyn, eds., Edward Thomas: Prose Writings, volume 2: England and Wales. These are handsomely produced and assiduously researched editions, and this reviewer was struck by the extraordinarily eclectic prose output of a writer who died at the age of only 39. As the editors acknowledge, while Thomas’s poetry has received subtle and extensive critical scrutiny, his narrative prose fiction, middlebrow journalism, and life-writing are only just receiving the acute analysis they deserve.’
In The Observer Robert Macfarlane chose England and Wales as his summer reading: ‘Featherlight on my e-reader would be Kirsty Gunn’s wonderful, experimental landscape of a book, The Big Music and volume two (England and Wales) of Edward Thomas’s Prose Writings, edited by Guy Cuthbertson and Lucy Newlyn, and recently published in a beautiful – but 2kg – hardback by OUP.’  In The Literary Review, Macfarlane described Autobiographies and England and Wales as ‘superbly edited’.
Edward Thomas, Autobiographies, ed. Guy Cuthbertson (Oxford University Press, 2011). Edward Thomas: Prose Writings: A Selected Edition. Volume I.
 – ‘Guy Cuthbertson’s splendidly edited Autobiographies promises well for the series’ – Peter McDonald, ‘Books of the Year’, TLS, December 2011
 – ‘Useful and fascinating’; with an ‘excellent introduction’ – Paul Jarman, TLS, January 2012
– this book was also the subject of the TLS blog:
– ‘invaluable […] the main achievement here is that we come away from this first volume with a deeper appreciation for Thomas the prose writer […] Cuthbertson’s volume is an act of recovery […] careful and admirable’ – David Farley, Britain and the World, 7:1 (March 2014).
– ‘Cuthbertson has traced and annotated [the echoes and allusions] scrupulously, revealing for the first time the rich backdrop of Thomas’s extensive readings and showing how they inform his fictional and nonfictional works. […] Guy Cuthbertson’s editorial apparatus cannot be faulted.  […] If Autobiographies is any indication, the other volumes are likely to become indispensable resources for the rediscovery of a large and neglected part of Edward Thomas’s important oeuvre.’  – Michel W. Pharand, English Literature in Transition, 2012


‘”Good night, Mr Morgan,” said all of us.  
“Good night, Ann,” said I, and slipped out into a night full of stars and of quietly falling leaves, which almost immediately silenced my attempt to sing “O the cuckoo is a pretty bird” on the way home.’      
(Edward Thomas, The Happy-Go-Lucky Morgans)