Alun Lewis was born on 1st July 1915 at Cwmaman, near Aberdare in the Cynon Valley in the South Wales Coalfield. His parents were both school teachers at llanwern. Lewis was one of four children; a younger sister, and two brothers. He was enthusiastic about writing from an early age. Lewis won a scholarship to attend Cowbridge Grammar School and from there went on to the University College of Wales and obtained a first in history in 1935. From there he went to the University of Manchester on a Pickles Research Fellowship and obtained his M.A in 1937. Lewis first tried his hand at journalism but when he didn't succeed he turned to work as a supply teacher. In 1939, Lewis met Gweno Ellis, a teacher, whom he later married on 5th July 1941. Lewis was committed to pacifism but with the outbreak of World War II these principles were overcome by his desire to confront and defeat the evils of fascism. Enlisting, in 1940, he joined the Royal Engineers but then for reasons unknown he sought and gained a commission in an infantry battalion. In 1941 he collaborated with artists John Petts and Brenda Chamberlain on the 'Caseg broadsheets'. These were inspired by chapbooks and broadside ballads and featured original woodcut artwork by Petts and poetry from prominent Welsh poets of the time including Dylan Thomas. Lewis was keen to create affordable literature for the masses. Unfortunately, sales were few and funds soon ran out. His first published book, in 1942, was the poetry collection 'Raider's Dawn and Other Poems'. The same year a collection of short stories, 'The Last Inspection' followed. To round out the year he was dispatched to India to serve with the 6th Battalion of the South Wales Borderers. Lewis' poems about the war and his experiences certainly relay and explore many facets. His poetry is testament to his talents that have him rightly regarded as one of Britain's most promising War Poets albeit on the thinnest of publications. By 1944 he was a lieutenant in Burma fighting the Japanese. What followed next has been interpreted in several ways. On 5th March 1944 he was found, with a gun shot wound to the head, near the officer's toilets. One account says he had been washing and shaving and then, it seems, tripped and accidentally shot himself. Indeed, that was the official version written up by the army. Another, and perhaps more plausible account classes it as a suicide, the gun was still in his hand. Fatally wounded he survived for another 6 hours. Whatever the truth as to how or why Alun Lewis died on March 5th, 1944. He was 28.
Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets
Author: Martin H. Franzmann
Publisher: Concordia Publishing House
: Pastors and members will enjoy this assemblage of Rev. Martin H. Franzmann's moving and inspirational sermons. Fifteen sermons delivered at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, have been reprinted for this truly eloquent collection.
Author: Alun Lewis
Publisher: Seren Books/Poetry Wales PressLtd
"Alun Lewis, (1915-1944), the remarkable poet and short story writer, died, aged twenty-eight, in Burma in the Second World War. Some critics see him as the last of the great Romantic poets, a twentieth century Keats. Others describe his poetry as the path from pre-war Yeats and Auden to post-war poets like Hughes and Gunn. In Wales there are those who think his greater versatility and finer intelligence place him above his contemporaries Dylan Thomas and R.S. Thomas." "This volume contains the complete texts of Raiders' Dawn and Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets in the way Lewis organized them. It also includes twenty-seven more poems some of which have never been published before. Lewis's Collected Poems is a body of poetry that will last, that transcends the label 'war poetry': it is both complete in itself and full of the promise of greater things."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Author: Michael Ondaatje, Michael Redhill, Esta Spalding, Linda Spalding
An Anchor Books Original Seventy-four distinguished writers tell personal tales of books loved and lost–great books overlooked, under-read, out of print, stolen, scorned, extinct, or otherwise out of commission. Compiled by the editors of Brick: A Literary Magazine, Lost Classics is a reader’s delight: an intriguing and entertaining collection of eulogies for lost books. As the editors have written in a joint introduction to the book, “being lovers of books, we’ve pulled a scent of these absences behind us our whole reading lives, telling people about books that exist only on our own shelves, or even just in our own memory.” Anyone who has ever been changed by a book will find kindred spirits in the pages of Lost Classics. Each of the editors has contributed a lost book essay to this collection, including Michael Ondaatje on Sri Lankan filmmaker Tissa Abeysekara’s Bringing Tony Home, a novella about a mutual era of childhood. Also included are Margaret Atwood on sex and death in the scandalous Doctor Glas, first published in Sweden in 1905; Russell Banks on the off-beat travelogue Too Late to Turn Back by Barbara Greene–the “slightly ditzy” cousin of Graham; Bill Richardson on a children’s book for adults by Russell Hoban; Ronald Wright on William Golding’s Pincher Martin; Caryl Phillips on Michael Mac Liammoir’s account of his experiences on the set of Orson Welles’s Othello, and much, much more. From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Cypress Walk
Author: Alun Lewis
In July 1943 the young Welsh poet and soldier Alun Lewis, already recognised as one of the outstanding writers of his generation, arrived on sick leave at the house near Madras of Freda Aykroyd, a devotee of literature and the wife of a British scientist. Lewis and Aykroyd fell in love instantly, recognising in each other similar temperaments and artistic interests. Their affair, which lasted until Lewis's mysterious death on the Arakan Front in March 1944, inspired some of the finest of his wartime poems as well as an extraordinary cache of letters published here for the first time. The letters throw a fresh light on Lewis's passionate and troubled nature and the background to his literary output at a time when he was at the height of his creative powers. In her introductory memoir, Freda Aykroyd charts the haunting story of her relationship with Lewis and its tragic outcome.
Author: A.J Smithers
Publisher: Pen and Sword
It is probably true to say that no land battle of this century passes Cambrai in importance. Up to the winter of 1917 warfare had changed only in degree since the coming of gunpowder. The scenario, with parts for horse, foot and guns, remained essentially the same. All this was part of a world about to disappear for good with the introduction of the tank. The British Army, hammered by years of war and facing almost alone the vastly increasing strength of its enemy, was expected by most observers to be near to going down in defeat. Instead of that, using British designed and built fighting machines of a novel kind, it attacked and drove the Germans from the strongest fortifications ever built. Nobody, save for a dedicated few, had believed such a feat possible. After profiting from its lessons the same Army, 12 months later, achieved its greatest victories of all time and saved Europe, for a time, from German dictatorship. The methods used made obsolete everything that had gone before and laid out the ground for each serious operation of war from Amiens to the Gulf.