A new life of the legendary Welsh writer who died amid alcohol and debts - to be published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death.
Dylan Thomas was a sensation, both as a person and as a poet. His writing - short stories as well as verse - was hugely popular. He broadcast widely on the old BBC Home and Third Programmes. Given to drink and womanising (Andrew Lycett reveals several mistresses), his life was public and even in the more staid 1940s caused a continuing stir.
In 1953, after completing the work for which he is best remembered, 'Under Milk Wood', he left London for his first US reading tour, where he had been 'discovered' the previous year. But he was still drinking heavily and in November 9, 1953 he died suddenly in New York. He was only 39.
There have been two previous lives of Thomas: by Constantine Fitzgibbon (1965) and Paul Ferris (1977 and revised for Dent in 1999). But since then Thomas' wife, Caitlin, and his son Llewelyn, have died. Their surviving families have promised Lycett access to their papers. Lycett has also secured the backing of the Dylan Thomas trustees and of Thomas' daughter Aeronwy.
The 50th anniversary is an ideal moment to reassess Dylan Thomas, his genius as a writer and his short but tragic life.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 01 / 2004
- 153 x 234mm