Timeline of the Dymock Poets

The following Timeline gives a summary of the important events between the time the first poet went to the Dymock area, in 1911, and 1916 when they had all left, but concentrating on 1914, “the year of the Dymock Poets”. It is, by its very nature, selective, and in some respects may give a wrong impression: I have tried to include the dates that the poets met within this period (Brooke met Thomas in 1910, so that is not included), but often the poets were in correspondence with each other some time before they actually met.

A few important books by the poets have been listed, but for a full list of the publications of most of the poets – Abercrombie, Brooke, Drinkwater, and Thomas – you will need to go to the checklists in the poets’ pages on this web site.

1917, the year after the Timeline, was the year that the first substantial number of poems by Thomas were published, in An Annual of New Poetry, edited by Abercrombie, Gordon Bottomley and R.C. Trevelyan (published 13 March 1917); and he was killed later that year, on 9 April. Abercrombie and Drinkwater went on to work in munitions factories, and Gibson was called up.

Jeff Cooper            

1911

 
1911, April 8?Lascelles Abercrombie and his family move to ‘The Gallows’ in Ryton, near Dymock.
1911, MayJohn Drinkwater visits Ryton and meets the Abercrombies for the first time.
1911, August 4?Abercrombie’s The Sale of Saint Thomas published by himself from Ryton.
1911, December 4Rupert Brooke’s Poems published, his only major book of poems before his death.
1911, December 12Abercrombie’s book Emblems of Love published.
1911, December?Drinkwater first meets Edward Thomas at the Square Club in London.

1912

 
1912, JanuaryThe first issue of the journal The Poetry Review, edited by Harold Monro.
1912, FebruaryWilfrid Gibson’s book Fires published.
1912, March 26John Drinkwater visits the Abercrombies again, probably for one day.
1912, September 7Abercrombie and Wilfrid Gibson go separately to Birmingham to see John Drinkwater, Gibson meeting them both for the first time.
1912, September 17Wilfrid Gibson meets Rupert Brooke for the first time, in London.
1912, September 20Brooke, Gibson, Drinkwater, Harold Monro and Arundel del Ré go for lunch with Edward Marsh to discuss a poetry anthology, later published as Georgian Poetry 1911-1912. It was the first time Drinkwater had met Brooke.
1912, OctoberRupert Brooke’s response to Ezra Pound’s criticism of Abercrombie published in the Poetry Review.
1912, December 12Wilfrid Gibson visits the Abercrombies in Ryton for the first time.
1912, December 16The anthology Georgian Poetry 1911-1912, edited by Edward Marsh, published.

1913

 
1913, January 8The Poetry Bookshop’s official opening (actually opened for business in October 1912).
1913, MarchThe First issue of the journal Poetry and Drama, edited by Harold Monro.
1913, MarchRupert Brooke wins the prize for ‘Granchester’, the best poem published in 1912.
1913, April 1?A Boy’s Will, Robert Frost’s first book, published.
1913, AprilEdward Thomas’s The Icknield Way published.
1913, early JulyAbercrombie, Drinkwater & Gibson discuss the possibility of starting a magazine of their poetry. It was to become New Numbers. Gibson was persuaded by Abercrombie to come and live near Dymock.
1913, July 11?Wilfrid Gibson writes to Rupert Brooke asking him to be a regular contributor to New Numbers. Brooke replies that he was ‘pleased and excited’ to be asked.
1913, July 24Robert Bridges becomes the new Poet Laureate, replacing Alfred Austin.
1913, August 15Edward Marsh pays his first visit to the area, staying with the Abercrombies for a few days.
1913, late? SeptemberRobert Frost meets Wilfrid Gibson for the first time, in London
1913, October 6Gibson arrives for an extended visit with the Abercrombies. His fiancée Geraldine Townshend stays some of the time.
1913, October 7Robert Frost meets Edward Thomas for the first time, in St. George’s Restaurant, London. Their friendship was slow to mature.
1913, early OctoberGibson and Abercrombie go to London, and meet up with Robert Frost, the first time Abercrombie had met Frost. Frost was persuaded to move to the Dymock area.
1913, December 9Gibson marries Geraldine Townshend in Dublin, and they have their honeymoon at Ryton, at the Abercrombies’ home.

1914

 
1914, January 14?The Gibsons move in to their home ‘The Old Nail Shop’ in Greenway, near Dymock.
1914, FebruaryDrinkwater stays at the Gallows with the Abercrombies, finishing his play ‘Rebellion’.
1914, February 7Edward Marsh comes to stay with the Gibsons for a few days.
1914, March 4The first issue of New Numbers (dated February) issued.
1914, April 3?Robert Frost and his family move into the cottage ‘Little Iddens’ in Leddington near Dymock.
1914, April 15Edward Thomas’s In Pursuit of Spring published.
1914, April 25. Edward Thomas with his children Mervyn and Bronwen come to stay at ‘Oldfields’, near the Frosts, for a week. Thomas meets Abercrombie for the first time.
1914, May 2The Abercrombies, Gibsons, and Edward Marsh go to see Drinkwater’s play ‘Rebellion’ in Birmingham.
1914, May 15Robert Frost’s North of Boston published, and the second issue of New Numbers issued (dated April).
1914, June 12Abercrombie in London, where he meets Brooke for the first time.
1914, June 24Edward and Helen Thomas go, via Adlestrop, to stay for a few days with the Frosts at ‘Little Iddens’, and Rupert Brooke comes to stay overnight with the Gibsons in ‘The Old Nail Shop’.
1914, June 26?Abercrombie receives a letter from Ezra Pound challenging him to a duel.
1914, July 18Frost goes to stay with the Thomases in Steep, Hampshire, for a couple of days.
1914, August 4War declared with Germany.
1914, August 5Thomas and his son Mervyn arrive by bicycle to stay for a month at ‘Oldfields’. Helen Thomas and their other children, with a Russian boy, arrive later that day by train and taxi.
1914, August 6Thomas and Frost, while out walking in the Malvern Hills, experience a moon-bow.
1914, mid AugustThe Abercrombies, Gibsons, and Frosts accused of being German spies.
1914, August 20Eleanor Farjeon comes to stay for two weeks at ‘Glyn Iddens’ near the Frosts and Thomases. Farjeon met the Frosts for the first time.
1914, August 21?Abercrombie goes over to where the Thomases are staying and meets Farjeon for the first time.
1914, August 22Thomas and Abercrombie go to visit Tewksbury Abbey.
1914, August 26Thomas and Frost go for a walk through the afternoon until late evening.
1914, August 29?The Frosts move into the Gallows in Ryton with the Abercrombies.
1914, August 30Dinner party (‘cider supper’) at the place where Eleanor Farjeon staying, for Abercrombie, Gibson, the Thomases and the Frosts.
1914, September 2The Thomas family leave ‘Oldfields’ and return to ‘Steep’.
1914, September 3Eleanor Farjeon leaves the Dymock area.
1914, September 15Brooke enlists for a commission in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
1914, September 28Two of Wilfrid Gibson’s books, Borderlands and Thoroughfares published.
1914, October 1?The third issue of New Numbers (dated August) is published.
1914, October 12Abercrombie’s third son is born in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
1914, October 14Abercrombie joins his wife and new son in Lincolnshire. They don’t return to Ryton until 26 February 1915.
1914, October 15Thomas goes to stay with the Frosts at ‘The Gallows’ in Ryton, leaving three days later.
1914, November 25Edward Thomas arrives at the Gallows in Ryton to stay with the Frosts.
1914, November 26?Thomas and Frost have an argument with a gamekeeper, and Frost is summonsed for aggressive behaviour.
1914, December 3Thomas wrote the first of his 142 mature poems, ‘Up in the Wind’.

1915

 
1915, end JanuaryFarjeon goes to stay with the Frosts at the Gallows for a week.
1915, February 5The Frosts move out of ‘The Gallows’ and move temporarily to ‘Oldfields’.
1915, February 6?Edward Thomas visits the Frosts briefly.
1915, February 12The Frost family leave the Dymock area and go to Liverpool. They return to the United States the following day.
1915, February 26The Abercrombies return to ‘The Gallows’ in Ryton.
1915, February 27The last issue of New Numbers (dated December 1914) published.
1915, March 9Brooke writes to Edward Marsh, sorting out his affairs.
1915, MarchThe anthology This England, edited by Thomas, published, in which he included two of his own poems.
1915, April 23Rupert Brooke dies of septicaemia in the Aegean. The beneficiaries of his estate are Abercrombie, Gibson and Walter de la Mare.
1915, May 3John Drinkwater’s Swords and Ploughshares published.
1915, July 19Edward Thomas enlists in the Artists’ Rifles (having been passed fit for military service 5 days previously).
1915, September 28Wilfrid Gibson’s book Battle published.
1915, NovemberThe anthology Georgian Poetry 1913-1915 published.

1916

 
1916, March 7Abercrombie moves to Liverpool and starts work as a munitions inspector the following day, leaving his wife and children in Ryton.
1916, April?Thomas’s Six Poems by ‘Edward Eastaway’, from the Pear Tree Press, published.
1916, August 21?The Abercrombie family come together and move to a house in Birkenhead, leaving Ryton for good.
1916, September 10The Gibson family move from ‘The Old Nail Shop’ in Greenway to West Malvern. Gibson was the last poet to leave the Dymock area.

 

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