Synopses & Reviews
JON STALLWORTHY, born in 1935, was educated at Rugby, in the Royal West African Frontier Force, and at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he won the Newdigate Prize of Poetry. Formerly the poetry editor of Oxford University Press, Stallworthy is professor emeritus of English at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature. He has published seven books of poetry. His biography of Wilfred Owen won the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the W. H. Smith Literary Award, and the E. M. Forster Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
About the Author
A handsomely packaged and updated reissue of Wilfred Owen's Complete Poems and Fragments, first published in 1983.
By matching the paper, pencil, ink and 24 watermarks of the largely undated manuscripts with those of the poet's dated letters, Professor Jon Stallworthy has been able to disentangle the complex chronology of Owen's work and reveal for the first time the overall development of the poet and successive stages in the development of individual poems and fragments.
The edition is divided into two volumes to enable readers to have text, notes and manuscript material before them at the same time. Volume I contains an Introduction, a Biographical Table, and the text of 110 poems (many with important new readings), and supporting factual and critical notes. Volume II provides the basis for the text of the poems, reproducing many of the manuscripts and the fragments, annotated like the poems. The manuscripts and fragments are reproduced in type-set transcription, showing Owen's reworkings and alterations.
Together with these volumes present more than twice the number of poems and fragments hitherto available, and comprise the most comprehensive and detailed edition of a twentieth-century poet writing in the English language. It is a worthy monument to a man who lived to see only four of his poems in print, but whose work is now known throughout the English-speaking world, and indeed beyond it as the text of Benjamin Britten's great War Requiem.