Monday, April 04, 2016

The calm before the storm

As the BBC's Phil Coomes suggests, it's hard to look over these recently discovered and published photos, taken by poet Edward Thomas during a 1913 cycle ride from London to Somerset, without doing so through a filter or imposing significance upon them: "The pictures are snaps of the road, yet the passage of a hundred years of history changes our perception of them. The last breath of a country about to change forever, or a romantic wish for something lost, perhaps."

The images are inevitably imbued with an added poignancy by the fact that the imminent conflict not only threatened the green and pleasant land depicted but actually cut short the life of the photographer, who was killed four years later at the Battle of Arras.

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