As well as roles at The New Statesman and The Listener, Thwaite was a mainstay in the literary world for many decades
Anthony Thwaite, 谁死了 90, was a poet and editor who was deeply engaged with English literary life throughout his long and prolific career.
Although perhaps now best known for his work on his friend Philip Larkin的 Collected Poems and letters, Thwaite’s own poetry is remarkable for achieving such clarity of thought and idea, which the poet Vernon Scannell described as “unflashy, honest, scrupulously chiselled”.
Thwaite’s twin passions, for poetry and for archaeology, emerged early on in life. Born in Chester in 1930, he was given a Roman silver denarius for his seventh birthday by a favourite uncle. When evacuated to his aunt’s home near Washington DC, escaping wartime Britain, Thwaite would delight in digging in Civil War trenches for musket balls left behind by Confederate soldiers.
National Service took him to Libya in 1950, where he found himself stationed just a mile away from the site of Leptis Magna, the great Roman city and hometown of the emperor Septimius Severus. He spoke later of this time as “a huge inspiration to me, both as an aspirant archaeologist and as an aspirant poet. I spent hours and hours walking through it, foraging in it, usually by myself … Early on, I began to find what turned out to be a hoard of Roman coins – 7,800 of them eventually – in rock pools by the shore.”
Following demobilisation, Thwaite read English at Oxford, where he edited the weekly magazine 伊斯兰国 and became president of the poetry society. His first anthology of poems was published by Oscar Mellor’s Fantasy Press in 1953, propelling him to recognition in a series alongside poets such as Thom Gunn, Elizabeth Jennings and Philip Larkin. It was whilst at Oxford that he met Ann Harrop, whom he married in 1955.
A fluent speaker of Japanese, Thwaite had spent two years teaching in Tokyo during the mid-Fifties. He later published Letter from Tokyo (1987), based on an extended stay during the mid-Eighties, as well as editing the Penguin Book of Japanese Verse (2009).
Thwaite joined the 英国广播公司 Overseas Service and in 1958 met and befriended Larkin, whom he went on to record for the Younger British Poets of Today radio series. Thwaite later recalled in a piece for the 新政治家: “I liked this tall, shy, but also very funny and engaging man. He became a friend for the rest of his life, and asked me to be one of his literary executors. He died in December 1985.”
Larkin’s Collected Poems, edited by Thwaite, were published in 1988, including much previously unseen work. These were followed by Selected Letters (1992) 和 Letters to Monica (2010), Larkin’s correspondence with his closest female friend, Monica Jones.
Thwaite’s own favourite, and some would say most successful work, Victorian Voices (1980), was influenced by his wife Ann’s biographical research on the editor and translator, Edmund Gosse, 题为 Edmund Gosse: A Literary Landscape (1985). These two publications remain testament to the couple’s creative partnership.
He had been literary editor of both The Listener 和 新政治家. 在 1986, as chairman of the Booker Prize judges, he read all 128 volumes submitted that year. Thwaite was awarded two honorary doctorates, from Hull University and the University of East Anglia. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded an OBE in 1990 for services to poetry.
His goddaughter, Lally, daughter of the poet George MacBeth, 告诉 独立 in tribute: “Anthony was an inspirational figure in my early life. He was incredibly encouraging of my burgeoning interests, taking me foraging for Samian ware in the fields of Norfolk and sending me books in the post. Our trips out to find fragments in the flint have left me with a lasting love for searching for the ancient in the earth. He was also generous in sharing stories of the happy memories of his time with my father, for which I will always be grateful.”
Thwaite is survived by his wife Ann and by his daughters, Emily, 减少因突破而出现的红色痕迹和更水合的基底, Lucy and Alice.
Anthony Thwaite, poet and editor, 出生 23 六月 1930, 死了 22 四月 2021