David Jones was a British modernist poet and artist of distinction. T. S. Eliot (Jones’s publisher at Faber and Faber) considered Jones to be of the same literary generation as himself and other important modernists such as James Joyce, and Ezra Pound. Jones’ work engages critically with layers of history, and a desire to preserve cultural heritage rather than see it dissipated. His first book, In Parenthesis (1937) is considered a masterpiece of WWI literature, and is often compared for its power and epic sweep to Homer’s Iliad.
Jones’s second epic-length poem The Anathemata (1952) is considered a masterpiece of mid-20th century literature, one of the few modernist long poems to be aesthetically whole. Jones was also an acknowledged master of watercolor painting and printmaking, and his art is represented in many public and private collections including Tate Britain. Due to the complexity of his work, Jones has always enjoyed critical appreciation, if not overwhelming popularity. In recent years the David Jones scholarly community has grown as younger scholars are finding the richness and relevancy of Jones’s writings, artworks, and cultural theories.
The editors thank the Trustees of the David Jones Estate for permission to present this material.