Welcome to this special additional episode of Wales Arts Review OffScript created to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of poet Edward Thomas. What you are about to hear is a short set of interviews with people who actually knew Thomas. In the late 1960s Cardiff University’s professor R. George Thomas carried out what was really the first serious academic study of Thomas and his work, and in the process he interviewed many of Thomas’ friends and family, including his wife Helen who can be heard here in old age but who clearly has a youthful energy, and also his two daughters Bronwen and Myfanwy, as well as Vernon Watkins, John M. Thorburn, and Lady Dorothy MacAlister. This audio you are about to hear focuses on the interest in Thomas’ Welshness, something which has perhaps not always been apparent, but as you’ll hear was integral to him as a person and a poet, and leaves little for debate on just how Welsh Edward considered himself. As well as Helen Thomas we hear from Alun John and some marvellous insights from Thomas’ cousin Thomas Philip Thomas who remembers going walking with Edward through the Welsh countryside.
Many thanks to the Cardiff Special Collections Archive for these recordings.