The Happy-Go-Lucky Morgans
Second issue of Edward Thomas' semi-autobiographical novel
Undated . First edition, second issue (undated on title page, no frontispiece or adverts, see Eckert 230). Hardback, bound in the original green cloth with gilt titling to spine and upper board. 19 × 12.5cm, 299pp.
This semi-autobiographical novel was written during one of Edward Thomas's most depressing periods of his life. There was little sale for the book and his finances were in a desperate shape, living expenses being reduced to a minimum. In describing the book to Gordon Bottomley, Edward Thomas wrote "It is a loose affair held together if at all by an oldish suburban home, half memory, half fancy, and a Welsh family (mostly memory) inhabiting it and collecting a number of men and boys including some I knew when I was from ten to fifteen. The scheme allows me to use all memories up to the age of 20 and so far I have indulged myself freely. I feel however it will be better than isolated essays and sketches, each helping the other, and the same characters reappearing; and more honest than the pseudo-continuous books I have written".
As Edward Thomas' only novel, this is a delightful book in recalling certain aspects of his early London life, mingled with fancies, legends, and dreams, to produce vivid impressions of places, people and of ET himself. It is a written with a certain clarity of reflectiveness which was soon to become one the many qualities of his poetry.
A reading copy. The cloth is rubbed to the edges and bumped. The book lacks the ffep, and the front hinge is open but still holding. Previous owner's name to front pastedown. The main body of text lightly foxed but well bound. Overall, perfectly readable but quite heavily worn.