E. Longley

E. Longley: On Edward Thomas

Thomas, (Philip) Edward (1878–1917), poet and writer, was born on 3 March 1878 at 10 Upper Lansdowne Road North, Lambeth, London, the eldest of the six sons of Philip Henry Thomas (1854–1920), staff clerk for light railways and tramways at the Board of Trade, and Mary Elizabeth Townsend (b. 1855), daughter of William Henry Townsend, master mariner, of Newport, Monmouthshire. In The South Country (1909) Edward Thomas calls himself ‘mainly Welsh’, though some family names (including Eastaway, which he was to use as a pseudonym) have links with western England.