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Distributed for University of Wales Press

R. S. Thomas

At his death in 2000, R. S. Thomas was widely considered to be one of the major poets of the English-speaking world and had been nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature.  An outspoken Welsh nationalist, he was also for many years a priest in the Anglican Church in Wales.  At the same time his later poetry, considered by many as amongst the finest religious poetry written in the twentieth century, is frequently a profound and anguished search for an elusive God in our contemporary world of globalized consumerism and technology.

Tony Brown’s study discusses the whole range of R. S. Thomas’s writing -- his poetry of the life of hill farmers in mid Wales, his often vigorous and controversial political poetry, and his later poetry of spiritual searching -- and sees Thomas’s perspective as consistently that of the outsider, isolated and unsure of his own identity, seeking a way of life where he could feel at home and culturally secure.  As well as providing a valuable introduction to R. S. Thomas’s writing, Tony Brown’s reading of Thomas’s life and work also provides a range of new perspectives and insights, many based on uncollected or unpublished material, for readers already familiar with the poetry.

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Table of Contents

Chapter I
     From Holyhead to Manafon
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
     Retirement, Protest and Unity
Select Bibliography
Illustrations between pages 118-119

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