Walking Wounded: The Life and Poetry of Vernon Scannell

Paperback | May 30, 2015

byJames Andrew Taylor

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This uncompromising biography tells the story of a wounded D-Day veteran, a deserter, a violent drunk, a loving father who abandoned his first child, a boxer and brawler, a wife-beater, a bigamist, and a passionately romantic lover. It is also, most importantly, the story of a poet.Vernon Scannell wrote some of the finest poetry to come out of the Second World War. He won the Chomondeley Prize and the Heinemann Award, and for half a century he was acknowledged as one of the leading poets in the country. His Collected Poems are still in print, and his poetry for both adults andchildren is regularly anthologised and appears on English Literature examination papers.Scannell died in 2007, and Walking Wounded draws on his personal diaries, poems, and other writings to offer the first detailed study of this complex, controversial, and occasionally tragic life. For the first time, the women who loved him tell their stories; his children describe growing up with afather who was funny, affectionate, sometimes violent, and often not there at all; and his fellow poets, including Seamus Heaney, Anthony Thwaite, Alan Brownjohn and Kit Wright, speak of the dedicated stylist, assured performer, and occasionally roistering drunk that they knew.Scannell was seriously wounded in Normandy shortly after D-Day, but the book looks at the deeper, mental scars from the War that he bore all his life, and of the suffering they caused to him and the people who loved him. It is an important book about an important poet, which investigates wherepoetry comes from, and the terrible price that sometimes has to be paid for it.

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This uncompromising biography tells the story of a wounded D-Day veteran, a deserter, a violent drunk, a loving father who abandoned his first child, a boxer and brawler, a wife-beater, a bigamist, and a passionately romantic lover. It is also, most importantly, the story of a poet.Vernon Scannell wrote some of the finest poetry to com...

Andrew Taylor is the author of ten books, including biographies of the Arabian traveller Charles Doughty and the 16th Century cartographer Gerard Mercator, as well as books on language, literature, poetry and, history. He studied English Literature at Oxford University and worked as a Fleet Street and BBC television journalist in Lond...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:442 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:May 30, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198728328

ISBN - 13:9780198728320

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Table of Contents

John Carey: Foreword1. Beginnings2. Aylesbury3. The Long and Lovely Summer4. Gone for a Soldier5. Military Prison6. Back in Action7. On the Run8. Court Martial Again9. Marriage10. Schoolmaster11. Falling Apart12. A Proper Gentleman13. Young Love14. Otley15. Last Love16. Afterword

Editorial Reviews

"Splendid ground-breaking biography ... I cannot speak too highly of this book." --Merryn Williams, Oxford Times 26/11/2013