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The Heart of England

Edward Thomas
Date Published
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‘Mr Edward Thomas, that curious and enthusiastic explorer of the English countryside,’ ran the original advertisement for Dent’s 1906 series of books under The Heart of England banner. Thomas’s own book of that title, published before he was to become known as a poet, already reveals the poet’s sensitivity for language and the poet’s eye for truth.

Thomas was always aware of the richness of the English countryside, the elusive beauty of the natural world. Everything he saw was something to be treasured. Here is the essence of the England he knew, in all seasons and in all moods: an august day through the haze of corn dust ‘when the thresher twists his oaken flail,’ or a November morning in the ‘Close, perpendicular, quiet rain’.

To read the essays collected here is to feel what it would have been like to walk with Thomas – in spring when ‘The larks sing invisible in the white May sky’ or in autumn ‘when the moon is clear, and the tingling sea is vast and alone’.


Edward Thomas was born in Lambeth, London, in 1878, and educated at St Paul’s College and Lincoln College, Oxford. Though his reputation is built on his poetry – which he took up at the suggestion of his friend Robert Frost – he was also a prolific writer of prose, much of it dedicated to capturing his love of the English…

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