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Edward Thomas and World Literary Studies

Wales, Anglocentrism and English Literature

Edward Thomas and World Literary Studies offers a revelatory rereading of the early twentieth century English poet Edward Thomas (1878–1917). Adapting Pascale Casanova’s vision of world literature as a system of competing national traditions, Andrew Webb analyzes Thomas’s appropriation of Anglocentric British literary culture during key moments of historical crisis in the twentieth century: after World War I, before and after World War II, and the resumption of war in Ireland in the 1970s. Webb shows how the dominant linguistic assumptions underpinning the discipline of English literature marginalize the Welshness of Thomas’s work. He then combines this revised world literature model with fresh archival research to reveal how Thomas’s reading of Welsh culture—its folk and literary traditions—is central to both his creation of an innovative body of poetry and to his extensive prose.

288 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2013

University of Wales Press - Writing Wales in English

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

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“This is an engagingly written, original, and intellectually rigorous book of criticism. Webb writes with such insight because he is alive to the many contexts Edward Thomas maps into, but never lets them overwhelm the singularity of Thomas’s voice.”

Patrick McGuinness, University of Oxford

Table of Contents

General Editor’s Preface


List of Abbreviations


1  World Literary Studies and Britain

2  The Reception of Edward Thomas

3  Welsh Literatures in their Political and Economic Contexts

4  Edward Thomas and the Welsh Cultural Tradition

5  Edward Thomas and English ‘as a foreign tongue’

6  Edward Thomas and England’s Failed Locales


Works Cited


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