Now All Roads Lead To France

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012011081520110815 (BBC7)
20131007 (BBC7)

A compelling exploration of the making of one of Britain's most influential First World War poets - Edward Thomas, who is perhaps best-remembered for his poem 'Adlestrop'.

Matthew Hollis's new biography is an account of Thomas's final five years and of his momentous and mutually-inspiring friendship with the American poet, Robert Frost.

Although an accomplished prose-writer and literary critic, Edward Thomas only began writing poetry in 1914, at the age of 36. Before then, Thomas had been tormented by what he regarded as the banality of his work, by his struggle with depression and by his marriage.

But as his friendship with Frost blossomed, Thomas wrote poem after poem, and his emotional affliction began to lift. The two friends began to formulate poetic ideas that would produce some of the most remarkable verse of the twentieth century. But the First World War put an ocean between them: Frost returned to the safety of New England, while Thomas stayed to fight for the Old. It is these roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book, which culminates in Thomas's tragic death on Easter Monday 1917.

Read by Tobias Menzies

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Emma Harding

'Now All Roads Lead to France' is published by Faber and Faber.

Matthew Hollis is the author of a volume of poetry, 'Ground Water', which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. This is his first prose book.

Although an accomplished prose-writer and literary critic, Edward Thomas only began writing poetry in 1914, at the age of 36.

Before then, Thomas had been tormented by what he regarded as the banality of his work, by his struggle with depression and by his marriage.

But as his friendship with Frost blossomed, Thomas wrote poem after poem, and his emotional affliction began to lift.

The two friends began to formulate poetic ideas that would produce some of the most remarkable verse of the twentieth century.

But the First World War put an ocean between them: Frost returned to the safety of New England, while Thomas stayed to fight for the Old.

It is these roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book, which culminates in Thomas's tragic death on Easter Monday 1917.

Matthew Hollis is the author of a volume of poetry, 'Ground Water', which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

This is his first prose book.

A haunting account of the momentous final years of poet Edward Thomas, by Matthew Hollis.

022011081620110816 (BBC7)
20131008 (BBC7)

A compelling exploration of the making of one of Britain's most influential First World War poets - Edward Thomas, who is perhaps best-remembered for his poem 'Adlestrop'.

Matthew Hollis's new biography is an account of Thomas's final five years and of his momentous and mutually-inspiring friendship with the American poet, Robert Frost.

Although an accomplished prose-writer and literary critic, Edward Thomas only began writing poetry in 1914, at the age of 36. Before then, Thomas had been tormented by what he regarded as the banality of his work, by his struggle with depression and by his marriage.

But as his friendship with Frost blossomed, Thomas wrote poem after poem, and his emotional affliction began to lift. The two friends began to formulate poetic ideas that would produce some of the most memorable verse of the twentieth century. But the First World War put an ocean between them: Frost returned to the safety of New England, while Thomas stayed to fight for the Old. It is these roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book, which culminates in Thomas's tragic death on Easter Monday 1917.

In today's episode, the first meeting of Edward Thomas and Robert Frost marks the start of a life-changing friendship.

Read by Tobias Menzies

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Emma Harding

'Now All Roads Lead to France' is published by Faber and Faber.

AUTHOR: Matthew Hollis is the author of a volume of poetry, 'Ground Water', which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. This is his first prose book.

Although an accomplished prose-writer and literary critic, Edward Thomas only began writing poetry in 1914, at the age of 36.

Before then, Thomas had been tormented by what he regarded as the banality of his work, by his struggle with depression and by his marriage.

But as his friendship with Frost blossomed, Thomas wrote poem after poem, and his emotional affliction began to lift.

The two friends began to formulate poetic ideas that would produce some of the most remarkable verse of the twentieth century.

But the First World War put an ocean between them: Frost returned to the safety of New England, while Thomas stayed to fight for the Old.

It is these roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book, which culminates in Thomas's tragic death on Easter Monday 1917.

AUTHOR: Matthew Hollis is the author of a volume of poetry, 'Ground Water', which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

This is his first prose book.

Edward Thomas and Robert Frost's first meeting begins a life-changing friendship.

032011081720110817 (BBC7)
20131009 (BBC7)

A compelling exploration of the making of one of Britain's most influential First World War poets - Edward Thomas, who is perhaps best-remembered for his poem 'Adlestrop'.

Matthew Hollis's new biography is an account of Thomas's final five years and of his momentous and mutually-inspiring friendship with the American poet, Robert Frost.

Although an accomplished prose-writer and literary critic, Edward Thomas only began writing poetry in 1914, at the age of 36. Before then, Thomas had been tormented by what he regarded as the banality of his work, by his struggle with depression and by his marriage.

But as his friendship with Frost blossomed, Thomas wrote poem after poem, and his emotional affliction began to lift. The two friends began to formulate poetic ideas that would produce some of the most remarkable verse of the twentieth century. But the First World War put an ocean between them: Frost returned to the safety of New England, while Thomas stayed to fight for the Old. It is these roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book, which culminates in Thomas's tragic death on Easter Monday 1917.

In today's episode, Edward Thomas and Robert Frost have an emotional encounter with a hostile gamekeeper, and Thomas sits down to write his first poem.

Read by Tobias Menzies

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Emma Harding

'Now All Roads Lead to France' is published by Faber and Faber.

AUTHOR: Matthew Hollis is the author of a volume of poetry, 'Ground Water', which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. This is his first prose book.

Although an accomplished prose-writer and literary critic, Edward Thomas only began writing poetry in 1914, at the age of 36.

Before then, Thomas had been tormented by what he regarded as the banality of his work, by his struggle with depression and by his marriage.

But as his friendship with Frost blossomed, Thomas wrote poem after poem, and his emotional affliction began to lift.

The two friends began to formulate poetic ideas that would produce some of the most remarkable verse of the twentieth century.

But the First World War put an ocean between them: Frost returned to the safety of New England, while Thomas stayed to fight for the Old.

It is these roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book, which culminates in Thomas's tragic death on Easter Monday 1917.

AUTHOR: Matthew Hollis is the author of a volume of poetry, 'Ground Water', which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

This is his first prose book.

Inspired by Robert Frost, Thomas writes his first poem - at the age of 36.

042011081820110818 (BBC7)
20131010 (BBC7)

A compelling exploration of the making of one of Britain's most influential First World War poets - Edward Thomas, who is perhaps best-remembered for his poem 'Adlestrop'.

Matthew Hollis's new biography is an account of Thomas's final five years and of his momentous and mutually-inspiring friendship with the American poet, Robert Frost.

Although an accomplished prose-writer and literary critic, Edward Thomas only began writing poetry in 1914, at the age of 36. Before then, Thomas had been tormented by what he regarded as the banality of his work, by his struggle with depression and by his marriage.

But as his friendship with Frost blossomed, Thomas wrote poem after poem, and his emotional affliction began to lift. The two friends began to formulate poetic ideas that would produce some of the most remarkable verse of the twentieth century. But the First World War put an ocean between them: Frost returned to the safety of New England, while Thomas stayed to fight for the Old. It is these roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book, which culminates in Thomas's tragic death on Easter Monday 1917.

In today's episode, Thomas wrestles with the conundrum of whether to enlist. A poem by his friend Robert Frost forces his hand.

Read by Tobias Menzies

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Emma Harding

'Now All Roads Lead to France' is published by Faber and Faber.

AUTHOR: Matthew Hollis is the author of a volume of poetry, 'Ground Water', which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. This is his first prose book.

As the 1914 war continues, Thomas wrestles with the conundrum of whether to enlist.

Although an accomplished prose-writer and literary critic, Edward Thomas only began writing poetry in 1914, at the age of 36.

Before then, Thomas had been tormented by what he regarded as the banality of his work, by his struggle with depression and by his marriage.

But as his friendship with Frost blossomed, Thomas wrote poem after poem, and his emotional affliction began to lift.

The two friends began to formulate poetic ideas that would produce some of the most remarkable verse of the twentieth century.

But the First World War put an ocean between them: Frost returned to the safety of New England, while Thomas stayed to fight for the Old.

It is these roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book, which culminates in Thomas's tragic death on Easter Monday 1917.

In today's episode, Thomas wrestles with the conundrum of whether to enlist.

A poem by his friend Robert Frost forces his hand.

AUTHOR: Matthew Hollis is the author of a volume of poetry, 'Ground Water', which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

This is his first prose book.

0520110819

A compelling exploration of the making of one of Britain's most influential First World War poets - Edward Thomas, who is perhaps best-remembered for his poem 'Adlestrop'.

Matthew Hollis's new biography is an account of Thomas's final five years and of his momentous and mutually-inspiring friendship with the American poet, Robert Frost.

Although an accomplished prose-writer and literary critic, Edward Thomas only began writing poetry in 1914, at the age of 36.

Before then, Thomas had been tormented by what he regarded as the banality of his work, by his struggle with depression and by his marriage.

But as his friendship with Frost blossomed, Thomas wrote poem after poem, and his emotional affliction began to lift.

The two friends began to formulate poetic ideas that would produce some of the most memorable verse of the twentieth century.

But the First World War put an ocean between them: Frost returned to the safety of New England, while Thomas stayed to fight for the Old.

It is these roads taken - and those not taken - that are at the heart of this remarkable book, which culminates in Thomas's tragic death on Easter Monday 1917.

In today's episode, Thomas says a final farewell to his friends and family in early 1917 and leaves for France, just as his first collection of poems nears publication.

Read by Tobias Menzies

Abridged by Richard Hamilton

Produced by Emma Harding

'Now All Roads Lead to France' is published by Faber and Faber.

AUTHOR: Matthew Hollis is the author of a volume of poetry, 'Ground Water', which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, the Guardian First Book Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

This is his first prose book.

Thomas leaves for the Front, just as his first collection of poems nears publication.