The Georgians 1901-1930

The Georgians 1901-1930

Edited by Merryn Williams.

Price: £13.95

ISBN: 1 904866 97 6

This is the first anthology of its kind since James Reeves’ slender Georgian Poetry, published by Penguin in 1962. Merryn Williams’ wide-ranging selection, with lengthy Introduction, Explanatory Notes and Biographical Information, offers a unique opportunity to understand the importance of these poets.

Merryn Williams explains:

The Georgians were a group of poets, mostly under forty, who wrote or grew up in the years before the First World War. It seemed a good time to be a young author, reacting against Victorianism. ‘We are awake again’, wrote D.H. Lawrence, ‘our lungs are full of new air, our eyes of morning’. Edward Marsh published some of the most famous poems in English in his anthology Georgian Poetry. Harold Monro’s Poetry Bookshop welcomed large audiences. Poetry had never been so popular.

They were a brilliant, and strikingly different group. Some wrote about the green heart of England, others about the poor in big cities. James Elroy Flecker wrote about the mysterious East, Charlotte Mew about loneliness and madness.

But, after August 1914, it was obvious that poetry had to change. One after another, the younger Georgians went to war and were killed. Those who were left behind became unfashionable and, by 1930, the movement had collapsed.

The Georgians have been terribly wronged by generations of critics, starting with T.S. Eliot who accused them of writing only about ‘rainbows, cuckoos, daffodils and timid hares’. This anthology should prove him wrong. It contains the best work of twenty-four poets, eight of whom died in the war, and in the words of one of them, Edward Thomas, is full of ‘beauty, strength, mystery and magic’.

Includes works by the following poets:

Lascelles Abercrombie
Ferenc Bekassy
Edmund Blunden
Rupert Brooke
G.K. Chesterton
W.H. Davies
Walter de la Mare
John Drinkwater
James Elroy Flecker
Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
Robert Graves
Ivor Gurney
D.H. Lawrence
Francis Ledwidge
John Masefield
Charlotte Mew
Harold Monro
Wilfred Owen
Isaac Rosenberg
Siegfried Sassoon
Charles Sorley
J.C. Squire
Edward Thomas
T.P. Cameron Wilson