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O My Hornby And My Barlow Long Ago


O My Hornby And My Barlow Long Ago – The Life Of The Poet Francis Thompson 1859-1907 by Kenneth Shenton

Drugs, decadence, poetry and cricket, all feature strongly in this volume on the Preston born poet, Francis Thompson.

Timed to celebrate the 160th anniversary of his birth, here author Kenneth Shenton also marks the centenary of William Harris's prize winning choral setting of Thompson's masterpiece, The Hound of Heaven.

Featuring prominently too are the exploits of those legendary Lancashire cricketers Thompson famously immortalised in verse, A.N. Hornby and R.G.Barlow, the latter dying exactly one hundred years ago.

Francis Thompson's life was mixture of depravity and saintliness, laudanum and poetry.
J.C. Reid

Perhaps the shortest definition of the Victorian age is that Francis Thompson stood outside it.
G.K. Chesterton

Reviewer comments
Already a well-regarded poet in late Victorian England, Thompson's religious verse has remained particularly popular among Catholics and there is, of course, "At Lord's", the most famous cricket poem of all. Rather than write a full-length biography Shenton has shrewdly chosen to sketch Thompson's chaotic existence and focus closely on certain aspects, such as the long poem "The Hound of Heaven" and its musical settings. Shenton has done his fieldwork and unearthed new information about a poet whose life has already been extensively researched.
Paul Edwards

Kenneth Shenton (writer and broadcaster, cricket-lover and musicologist) has produced a new biography of Thompson, examining his poetry, the many inspirations behind the verse (including cricket), and the tortured lifestyle that brought him to an early grave. This is an insightful, affectionate but by no means uncritical account of someone who it seems seldom if ever played the game but left a profound impact on its literature.
Richard Lawrence

Softback Cover, 172 pages plus 12 pages of photographs with copies signed by the author.

Price £5.00 inc. postage (UK postal addresses* only).

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