Dylan Thomas: In the Mercy of His Means

George Tremlett, Author
George Tremlett, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (206p) ISBN 978-0-312-06957-5
Paperback - 978-0-312-08773-9
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-09-470890-7
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This biography of the famous Welsh poet (1914-1953) was written with the cooperation of his widow, Caitlin, whose own memoir was coauthored by Tremlett ( Caitlin: A Warring Absence ). Stating that much of Dylan Thomas's work does not appeal to him, the author devotes many pages to hair-splitting over the allegations made by John Malcolm Brinnin in Dylan Thomas in America as to the details of the poet's untimely death, probably from alcoholism, and disputing other Brinnin anecdotes. Tremlett also criticizes the way that court-appointed trustees have handled Thomas's estate. The poet's Welsh childhood and personal life are presented in some detail, but little evaluation of his creative output is offered. Seeing Thomas as the world's first media star because of his recordings and readings, Tremlett attributes the poet's well-known petty thievery, drinking and neglect of his family to the strains of instant fame. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)
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