Over the years there have been countless numbers of biographies and critical studies about the man and his works. Here we list just some of the most popular and readily available reads associated with Dylan Thomas.
About the man himself...
Dylan Thomas: A New Life
by Andrew Lycett
The last biography of Dylan penned in 2003
Lycett peels back the layers of story around this extraordinarily talented, celebrated, and contradictory literary figure, who could be a wild boy in public and a poet of deep sensitivity in private, and who once said, "I hold a beast, an angel, and a madman in me."
Dylan Remembered 1913-1934
Interviews by Colin Edwards
Edited by David N. Thomas
The first of two volumes culled from the numerous archive tapes stored at the National Library of Wales following the death of journalist, broadcaster and author Colin Edwards. Edwards, a California-resident Welshman, had interviewed everyone he could find with a Dylan Thomas connection as the groundwork for a biography of the poet which he was unable to begin before his early death. This book, which covers Dylan's life to the age of twenty, when he left Swansea for what he hoped would be a bohemian life in London, ends the need for speculation by biographers and researchers. The story, now made fact, is all here in an invaluable book for the academic and the general reader alike.
The Three Lives of Dylan Thomas
by Hilly Janes
In The Three Lives of Dylan Thomas, journalist Hilly Janes explores that life and its extraordinary legacy through the eyes of her father, the artist Alfred Janes, who was Thomas's great friend and painted the poet at three key moments, in 1934, 1953 and, posthumously, 1965. Using the portraits as focal points, drawing on a personal archive that includes drawings, diaries, letters and new interviews with Thomas's friends and descendants, as well as with biographers, critics and art historians, Hilly Janes manages to bring to life the poet and his times in this highly original and powerful narrative. This portrait goes beneath the reputation of the feckless, disloyal, boozy Welsh bard to reveal a very complex character. Feckless and disloyal, yes, but also lovable, charming, scholarly, dedicated and vulnerable.
Dylan Thomas: The Collected Letters
Edited by Paul Ferris
Dylan Thomas's letters bring the poet and his times to life in a way that almost no biography can.
The letters begin in the poet's schooldays, and end just before his death in New York at the age of 39. In between, he loved, wrote, drank, begged and borrowed his way through a flamboyant life.
He was an enthusiastic critic of other writers' work and the letters are full of his thoughts on his own work and on his friends, as well as unguarded and certainly unpolitical comments on the work of his contemporaries T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden and Stephen Spender among others.The letters cast Thomas's adolescence in Swansea and his love affair with Caitlin into sharper focus.Thomas's letters tell a remarkable story, each letter taking the reader a little further along the path of the poet's self-destruction, but written with such verve and lyricism that somehow the reader's sympathies never quite abandon him.
Dylan Thomas: The Pubs
by Jeff Towns
A pictorial tour of some of the pubs Dylan Thomas attended in Swansea, west Wales, Oxford, London and the USA. This book will put Dylan Thomas's love of public houses and liking of drink into its proper perspective. Events that happened to him in and around pubs are reflected in his famous works and these are discussed in the book. The book challenges the myths and legends that surround Dylan and drink, and offers a new and revealing insight into his life and work. Although it is impossible to take drink out of Dylan s life story, it is possible to reposition it to see it as nothing so extraordinary or shameful, and to prevent it from being a barrier between readers and Dylan s real importance as a fine poet, story writer, broadcaster, reader and dramatist. A great read for the hard core Dylan anoraks, the literary readers, the casual fans, the pub lovers or the part-time poets.
Dylan Thomas: Portrait of a Friend
by Gwen Watkins
Gwen Watkins' penetrating and honest account of the friendship between her husband, the poet Vernon Watkins and Dylan Thomas. An evocative book recalling the 'Kardomah days' of Swansea cafe society.
A Dylan Odyssey
by Literature Wales
Follow in the steps of Dylan Thomas. 15 literary trails in Wales, Oxford, London and New York by Griff Rhys Jones, Hannah Ellis, Gillian Clarke and other writers and artists. Edited by Literature Wales. Explore Swansea and Laugharne, meander around Magdalen College, Oxford, ride a horse and carriage to Fern Hill Farm, and re-trace Dylan Thomas' steps in New York. These are just some of the one-off experiences which inspired this collection of essays exploring Dylan Thomas' world through his many worlds, guided by some of Wales' best writers and artists. Contributors include BBC TV celebrity comedian Griff Rhys Jones, National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke and former Archdruid T. James Jones.
Dylan Thomas: The Biography
by Paul Ferris
The definitive biography of one of the twentieth century's most flamboyant literary figures, fully updated and revised since its original 1977 publication.
Dylan Remembered 1935-1953
Interviews by Colin Edwards
Edited by David N. Thomas
The second instalment of interviews from the archives reveals an intimate portrait of Dylan in the years after his announcing on the world's stage and his embarking on a creative nomadic lifestyle. Interviewees recall Dylan in Laugharne, London, New Quay, Italy, Oxford, Iran, Czechoslovakia and the United States all give their accounts on the man that they knew of that time. Taking you on a journey until his untimely death this book live Volume 1 is invaluable book for the academic and the general reader alike.
Dylan Thomas: A Centenary Celebration
by Hannah Ellis
Dylan Thomas: A Centenary Celebration is a unique collection of specially commissioned essays celebrating the poet s life and work one hundred years after his birth in 1914. Edited by his granddaughter, Hannah Ellis, who introduces each section by theme, the book is divided into three parts concerning Thomas's early years, later life and his lasting legacy. Highlights include essays from noted biographers Andrew Lycett and David N. Thomas, National Poet for Wales Gillian Clarke on Under Milk Wood, and poetry by Archbishop Emeritus Rowan Williams. The book also includes essays by poet Owen Sheers and BBC Radio 6 presenter Cerys Matthews, as well as numerous testimonies and poems from the likes of former President of the United States Jimmy Carter, Phillip Pullman and actor Michael Sheen.
A Pearl of Great Price: The Love Letters of Dylan Thomas to Pearl Kazin
Edited and introduced by Jeff Towns
New York, May, 1950.
A warm Spring day and a short, and portly, thirty-five year old Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, pushes through the plush revolving doors of Harper's Bazaar, in the heart of bustling downtown Manhattan. He was taking a chance on offering 'A Child's Christmas in Wales', a prose piece that had already served him well, but Harper's were not to know that. There, he meets Miss Pearl Kazin, Fiction Editor, highly-educated and out to make her own mark on New York; a woman, vastly different in manner, substance and background to his other New York 'lady-friends', with whom he fell in love, with consequences that were to disturb him profoundly for more than a year. An intense and passionate relationship began on that day. One side of their correspondence has survived, six 'love letters', never before published, sent from Dylan to Pearl. Until these letters came to light Pearl had remained something of a ghost; now, they offer part of Dylan's side of the story.
Dylan Thomas & the Bohemians: The Photographs of Nora Summers
by Gabriel Summers, Leonie Summers & Jeff Towns
Nora Summers was responsible for some of the iconic images of Wales' most famous bard Dylan Thomas, but the inmost details of her life, bucolic and populated by bohemians, eccentrics and mavericks, have remained largely unknown until now. A talented painter and photographer who revelled in documenting the picturesque, communal Arcadia she spent her whole life constructing and inhabiting, her relationships with Thomas and, more predominantly, his wife, Caitlin Macnamara, birthed creativity and strife in equal measure. Part biography, part photobook, Dylan Thomas and the Bohemians draws from the personal archives, both physical and memorial, of Gabriel Summers, Nora's grandson, and his partner Leonie, with contributions from Jeff Towns, a leading writer on the life and work of Dylan Thomas, and seeks to present an intimate and revealing portrait of both Summers and the creative company she kept.
My Father's Places
by Aeronwy Thomas
My Father's Places is a deeply moving portrait of growing up and an insight into the origins and the legacy of Dylan Thomas's poetry recounted by the poet's daughter, the late Aeronwy Thomas.
Fatal Neglect: Who Killed Dylan Thomas?
by David N. Thomas
Was it alcohol abuse, diabetes, a heart attack, medical incompetence – all reasons previously advanced? Was Dylan himself at fault? Fatal Neglect: Who Killed Dylan Thomas by David N. Thomas is a fascinating and eye opening read that will provide you with insight and answers. Drawing on startling new evidence, including medical records and a postmortem report, this biography provides several answers to the mysterious and unsolved death of the revered poet Dylan Thomas. An absolute must read for all interested in the life and death of Dylan Thomas._