Edward Thomas is perhaps the greatest exponent of native English verse in modern times. Starting his brief but explosive career late into his short yet eventful life, Thomas was initially a professional critic and famous nature diarist. A close friend and champion of Robert Frost, historians have speculated that the Nobel Prize winner’s iconic poem, The Road Not Taken, was intended to be a subtle jibe at Thomas’s indecision over joining the army during the Great War. Less than two years after signing up, Thomas was killed at the Battle of Arras, in Northern France, in 1917.
In the closing moments, Mears delivered a coup de théâ which left his audience visibly shaken.