Fonds GB 0210 MSEDWMAS - Edward and Helen Thomas manuscripts

Ardal dynodi

Cod cyfeirnod



Edward and Helen Thomas manuscripts


  • 1895-[?1978] (Creation)

Lefel y disgrifiad


Maint a chyfrwng

28 volumes.

Ardal cyd-destun

Enw'r crëwr

Hanes bywgraffyddol

Edward Thomas (1878-1917), poet and writer, was born Philip Edward Thomas in Lambeth to Welsh-born parents on 3 March 1878. He was educated at St Paul's School, London and Lincoln College, Oxford. Having left St Paul's, Thomas studied for the civil service examination, a move which expressed parental ambition rather than his own as he had reacted against the wordly views of his father, who worked for the Board of Trade and was prominent in Liberal politics. He was encouraged in his early literary ambitions by the critic James Ashcroft Noble and Thomas's first book, The Woodland Life, inspired by his love of the natural world, appeared as early as 1897. Thomas married Noble's daughter Helen (1877-1967) in 1899 and, having graduated from Lincoln College in 1900, made a precarious living as a literary reviewer for the Daily Chronicle whilst also writing essays, anthologies, guidebooks and folk-tales. He also published further books, including The Heart of England (1906), as well as biographical writings, most notably those on Richard Jefferies (1909), Maurice Maeterlinck (1911), Algernon Charles Swinburne (1912) and Walter Pater (1913). This period also produced his autobiographical works The Happy-Go-Lucky Morgans (1913), The Icknield Way (1913) and In Pursuit of Spring (1914). Possibly from an overwhelming feeling that his creativity was shackled and frustrated, Thomas at this time suffered recurrent physical and psychological breakdowns which once took him to the brink of suicide. It was not until 1914 that he wrote his first 'real' poem, entitled 'Up in the Wind'. The wartime collapse of the literary market at last afforded Thomas more time to write poetry; over a space of two years, he was to write over one hundred and forty poems. In 1915 Thomas joined the Artists' Rifles; he was commissioned second lieutenant in 1916 and volunteered for service overseas. In April 1917 he was killed during the first hour of the battle of Arras in northern France and buried the following day on the outskirts of the town; he therefore did not live to see the publication of his Poems (1917) (under his pseudonym Edward Eastaway), nor the subsequent Last Poems (1918) and Collected Poems (1920). His wife Helen wrote of their time together in As It Was (1926) and World Without End (1931). Thomas numbered amongst his poetical and literary influences Robert Frost, Thomas Hardy, W. B. Yeats, D. H. Lawrence, Walter de la Mare, and W. H. Davies.

Enw'r crëwr

Hanes bywgraffyddol

Hanes archifol

NLW MSS 22900-22918 were purchased from a collector who had previously acquired them from Helen Thomas in about 1960; they were subject to a ten-year embargo and became available in 1992.


NLW MS 10617B: Rev. Jesse Berridge; Chelmsford; Donation; March 1936.
NLW MS 21750D: Friends of NLW; Donation; November 1981; B1981/17.
NLW MSS 22900-18: Anonymous seller, per Sotheby's; Purchase; December 1981; B1981/19.
NLW MS 21859C: Anonymous seller, per Sotheby's; Purchase; August 1982; B1982/23.
NLW MS 22919B: David J. Holmes; Philadelphia; Purchase (with contributions from the Edward Thomas Fellowship); February 1992; B1992/5.
NLW MSS 22920-1A: Edward Cawston Thomas, grandson of Edward and Helen Thomas; Donation; March 1992; A1992/41.
NLW MS 23077C: David Thomas, nephew of Edward and Helen Thomas; Newhaven; Donation; November 1992; A1992/197.
NLW MS 24030i & iiA: Mrs Jennifer Thomas; Halesworth, Suffolk; Donation; August 2012; 006297149.
NLW MS 24064C: Gorringes Auction House; Lewes; Purchased at auction (with NLW ex 2879 and NLW MS 24044D, ff. 12-14), lot 30; 2-3 July 2014; 006765587.

Ardal cynnwys a strwythur

Natur a chynnwys

Papers, in the main diaries and correspondence, 1895-[?1978], of Edward and Helen Thomas, comprising diaries of Edward Thomas, 1895-1917; correspondence, 1896-1917, of Edward Thomas and his wife Helen; correspondence, 1895-1896, of Edward Thomas and his father-in-law James Ashcroft Noble; autograph drafts of poems, 1914-1917, by Edward Thomas, all of which were published in The Collected Poems of Edward Thomas, ed. by R. George Thomas (Oxford, 1978); the original manuscript of The Heart of England (London, 1906); an autograph prose piece, 1912, entitled 'A Castle of Cloud'; and fragments of Edward Thomas's journals, memoranda, photographs, etc., 1895-1916.

Gwerthuso, dinistrio ac amserlennu


System o drefniant

Arranged according to NLW MSS reference numbers: NLW MSS 10617B, 21750D, 21859C, 22900-21, 23077C, 24030A, 24064C.

Ardal amodau mynediad a defnydd

Amodau rheoli mynediad

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.

Amodau rheoli atgynhyrchu

Usual copyright laws apply. Information regarding the ownership of Edward Thomas and Helen Thomas copyright can be found at (viewed February 2012).

Iaith y deunydd

  • Saesneg

Sgript o ddeunydd

Nodiadau iaith a sgript


Cyflwr ac anghenion technegol

Cymhorthion chwilio

NLW MSS 22900-21 and 23077C are described more fully in NLW, Edward & Helen Thomas Manuscripts (1993):
The contents of NLW MSS 22900-21, 23077C are indexed in greater detail in Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, vol. 9 (Aberystwyth, 2003).

Ardal deunyddiau perthynol

Bodolaeth a lleoliad y gwreiddiol

Bodolaeth a lleoliad copïau

Photocopies of the letters in NLW MSS 22914-8C are available in NLW Facs 754-758, and of the letters in NLW MS 22919B in NLW Facs 927.

Unedau o ddisgrifiad cysylltiedig

For other papers of Edward Thomas see also NLW MSS 16098E, f. 400 (letter to a Mr Bullen), 21818E, f. 47 (letter to Gwili), 22003E, ff. 83-89 (letters to J. B. Pinker), 23222B (letters to O. M. Edwards), 23695E (letters to Jesse Berridge), 23981E, ff. 60-70, 24044D, ff. 12-14, 24122-3 (Jack Haines (Edward Thomas) manuscripts); NLW ex 2879; NLW, R. George Thomas (Edward Thomas) Research Papers (transcripts and photocopies of Edward Thomas letters held in various repositories and in private hands); and NLW, Geoffrey Woolley Papers C1 (letters to William Henry Hudson). For further correspondence of Helen Thomas see NLW MSS 23103D, 23299-300.
Further papers of Edward Thomas are located at the following locations: Cardiff University, Special Collections and Archives, Edward Thomas Archive; Austin, University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center; Oxford University, Lincoln College Library; Vancouver, University of British Columbia, Library; Oxford University, Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts; Eton College; University of Durham, Library, Archives and Special Collections, Palace Green Section; Canterbury, King's School; Wandsworth Local History Service Library; and London, British Library, Manuscript Collections.

Disgrifiadau cysylltiedig

Nodyn cyhoeddiad

Daniel Huws, 'Edward Thomas's private writing' in The Times Literary Supplement, 20 March 1992.

Ardal nodiadau


Title based on contents of fonds.

Dynodwr(dynodwyr) eraill

Virtua system control number

Pwyntiau mynediad

Pwyntiau mynediad pwnc

Pwyntiau mynediad lleoedd

Pwyntiau mynediad Genre

Ardal rheolaeth disgrifiad

Dynodwr disgrifiad

Dynodwr sefydliad

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rheolau a/neu confensiynau a ddefnyddiwyd

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Lefel manylder disgrifiad

Dyddiadau creadigaeth adolygiad dilead

March 2009 and August 2018.


  • Saesneg



The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Vol. 8 (Aberystwyth, 1999); Handlist of Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales, Vol. 9 (Aberystwyth, 2003); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography WWW site.

Nodyn yr archifydd

Description compiled by Bethan Ifan for the retrospective conversion project of NLW MSS, and revised by Rhys M. Jones.

Ardal derbyn