THE SWAN OF USK by Helen Ashton


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Miss Ashton has told in slightly fictionized form the story of the Welsh poet, mystic and Royalist (only incidentally a soldier of the King), Henry Vaughan. The years of childhood on the Welsh Marshes, with his twin brother, Tom, his exact opposite in temperament, but a devoted comrade, -schooling, Oxford, preparation for a life of ease and authority -- then, the Civil Wars which ripped England asunder, as Parliament battled with Charles, and Cromwell forged forward to power. The Vaughans survived to poverty and surveillance, always suspect; Tom became an alchemist, Henry an unlicensed country doctor, who wrote religious poetry -- and some secular poetry -- as a sideline. He died thinking himself a failure, in work and in life. A somewhat limited appeal, I should think. Definitely, a literary biographical novel.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1940
Publisher: Macmillan