Francis Thompson: Man and Poet
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By John Cowie Reid | Introduction by Philip Larkin
Francis Thompson: Man and Poet, first published in 1960, is a critical examination of the life and work of Francis Thompson. Exploring Thompson’s happy childhood, his descent into homelessness and addiction, his maturation into a writer of stature, and his final days of ill-health, Reid is unapologetically a sterner critic of this talented but flawed man and poet,. Indeed, Reid considers his contribution to the literature on Thompson to be a helpful and necessary corrective to overstatements of the latter's talent.
Equally vigorous and dispassionate, Francis Thompson: Man and Poet is an absorbing study of an enigmatic, prodigiously talented but often improvident poet, whose poetry—deservedly or otherwise—sits alongside that of Wordsworth, Patmore, and Hopkins.
To be the poet of the return to Nature is somewhat; but I would be the poet of the return to God. –Francis Thompson
John Cowie Reid (1916–1972) was a Roman Catholic, New Zealand professor of English. He was educated at Sacred Heart College and Auckland University College and his writings include Creative Writing in New Zealand (1946), The Mind and Art of Coventry Patmore (1957), and Francis Thompson: Man and Poet (1959).