A study of R.S. Thomas's literary achievement with a full bibliography
This thesis is a study of R. S. Thomas's development as a writer of
poetry and prose. It shows that his earliest poetry is in rather a
romantic vein, and that this is soon overtaken by an earthier and more
sceptical approach to the subject. In developing the new attitude
R. S. Thomas creates certain figures that stand as significant types,
for instance Iago T*Lherch. Wales and the Welsh way of life feature
prominently in R. S. Thomas's poetry, but in the last decade religious
concerns have come to the fore. These sane themes are also found in
R. S. Thomas's prose, but there an interest in Welsh affairs still
remains strong to the present day.
Much previously undocumented material is introduced in this thesis
in the form of the author's recorded interviews with R. S. Thomas and
correspondence with many who are familiar with aspects of his work,
information by and about him that has so far been broadcast but not
printed, and some of his early unpublished holograph poems.
As a supplement to the argument presented in Part I of this thesis,
Part II provides the first detailed index of R. S. Thomas's poems. Here
each poem is, for ease of reference, listed alphabetically as well as
chronologically (under the year of its first appearance). In the latter
list the name of each poem is followed by references to each occasion
on which it has been published (up to and including its collection in a
volume of the poet's work) plus details of variant readings that came
to light when the listed texts are compared.