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Dai Greatcoat

David Jones

A selection of David Jones’s correspondence that form a remarkable biographical self-portrait – reissued in paperback with a cover based on Berthold Wolpe’s original design

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‘The mind of David Jones is capable of such breathtaking leaps across the centuries, that nothing can appear incongruous in his writings and they all help to shed light on him as an artist and as a poet.’ Apollo

Through a selection of letters to friends and literary peers, Dai Greatcoat presents a rare insight into the life and work of David Jones, and in so doing offers an autobiographical portrait of the author in his own words. Dai Greatcoat is the Welsh soldier of In Parenthesis, Jones’s acclaimed narrative of the Great War, but the sturdy yet all too vulnerable figure, wrapped close in his ‘misfit outsize greatcoat’, is an apt symbol for the great poet and artist who died in 1974. In this volume covering the last fifty years of his life, Jones’s correspondence has been edited and arranged with a linking commentary to form a remarkable biographical portrait. The letters – merry, irreverent, sometimes sombre and anxious, always amazingly open – are unfailingly entertaining and will reveal to his many admirers, as well as to those encountering his work for the first time, a figure no one could possibly forget.

Critic Reviews

Like Thoreau, Melville and Hopkins, [David Jones] was one of literature’s saints who speak with an authority that comes more from religion than from the world of letters.

Stephen Spender
Critic Reviews

The most important native British poet of the twentieth century.

Thomas Dilworth

David Jones (1895-1974) was born in Kent. In 1915, then an art student, he went to war with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, where he fought in the battles of the Somme and Ypres. In 1922 he began a long association with the artist Eric Gill. In Parenthesis, based on Jones’s experiences in World War I, was published in 1937, followed…

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