Ivor Gurney is the first full length study of one of the most important English poets of the Twentieth Century. Drawing on biographical information, letters, reminiscences and anecdotes, John Lucas pieces together Gurney's difficult, indeed tragic life, in order to show that Gurney's wonderful poetry, while undoubtedly affected by his mental problems, his trench experiences in World War One, and his complex relationship to both Gloucester, the Cotswolds and London, is the sane utterance of a deeply radicalised writer. There is no suggestion that Gurney's experiences were unique. On the contrary, they were typical, as he well knew, and as he declares in poems which celebrate the implications of comradeship. What is unique is Gurney's ability to turn these experiences into major poetry. Gurney is the greatest of all those poets who fought in and survived the war and his achievement drastically affects our understanding of twentieth century poetry.
John Lucas is the Research Professor in the Department of English, The Nottingham Trent University. Having nearly forty years of teaching experience at University level he has taught in Universities throughout the UK, Europe and America. He is author of many publications including John Clare (1998), The Radical Twenties (1997) and editor of On the Track (2000)