Books CDs and leaflets offered for sale by the F. W. Harvey Society
If you would like to find out more about the life and works of Will Harvey four books have been released in recent years. These books are also on sale at Society events. If you would like to purchase any of these books please contact us.
F. W. Harvey: Selected Poems – Including CD
Anthony Boden and R. K. R. Thornton (Eds.)
Published 3 November 2011
This new selection of the poems of F.W. Harvey (1888-1957) presents the poet’s work as a creative sequence exemplifying his life and ideals in both peace and war. The included CD of all 64 of the poems is a delight. A professional studio recording by professional actors Jan Carey and David Goodland, it also includes rare BBC archive recordings, made in 1938, of F.W. Harvey reading five of his own poems. Harvey, a significant figure in the poetry of the first half of the twentieth century, discovered his talent amid the adventure and pain of the First World War. He enlisted, was decorated for outstanding bravery at the front and commissioned, but he was captured in August 1916, and spent the rest of the war in German prison camps, where he could ‘see beyond trouble, the trenches and the prison walls to his native Gloucestershire’, of which he wrote with such beauty and delight.
Collected Poems 1912-1957 by F.W. Harvey
Douglas McLean Publishers.
This collection of Harvey’s poetry was the first to be published since his death in 1957 and we are now proud to present this new edition.
F.W. Harvey was a ‘war poet’ who wrote many of his poems from the First World War battlefields and from German prisoner-of-war camps. His war poetry did not dwell on the horror and carnage of the trenches, but often focused on the beauty of his native Gloucestershire. It was thoughts of home that gave him courage and hope. Perhaps Harvey’s best known poem from this time is Ducks: ‘From troubles of the world I turn to ducks . . .’
After the War and his return to England, Will Harvey married and settled in the village of Yorkley in the Forest of Dean. Living there for the rest of his life and practising as a solicitor, he continued to write his poetry, always inspired by nature, people, faith, and his beloved Gloucestershire. Many of these works are in this collection including some in Forest of Dean dialect.
“No poet in this century could have been more local. And yet I believe Gloucestershire folk will honour Will Harvey as long as Gloucester cathedral and the river Severn washes the dark slopes of the Forest of Dean.” Leonard Clark
“Some day, it may be centuries hence, the world will discover what a fine poet Will Harvey really is.” Brian Waters
“No county has been blessed with a poet who sang of her with greater love and delight than Gloucestershire was with Harvey.” Humphrey Phelps
“He deserves the Laureate of Gloucestershire.” Cheltenham Chronicle
F.W. Harvey – Soldier, Poet by Anthony Boden – New Edition 2016
By Anthony Boden
Published by Phillimore & Co. Ltd., 2016
“It is the deepest and most searching study of the life and works of Will Harvey I have read and which I don’t think can be surpassed … I have read and re-read it with enrichment and entertainment.” Laurie Lee
The story of F.W. Harvey’s war is remarkable. Joining the 5th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment only days after war was declared, he was among the first Territorials to land in France. As a Lance-Corporal he was awarded the DCM and was commissioned shortly afterwards. He survived the Somme offensive, but in August 1916 was captured by the Germans from behind their own lines. He spent the rest of the war in prisoner-of-war camps – more than two years of spirit-sapping demoralisation made bearable by the comradeship of his fellow prisoners. But Harvey was more than just a tough soldier. He was a poet of considerable distinction, a contemporary of Owen, Sassoon and Thomas, and a close friend of Ivor Gurney.
It is also available from good bookshops and on Amazon at £16.99.
Comrades in Captivity by F.W. Harvey – Revised Edition
Douglas McLean Publishers.
First published in 1920, this wonderful book has for many years been unobtainable save for scarce and expensive second-hand copies. It is Will Harvey’s sole autobiographical account of his capture and subsequent incarceration in seven German prisoner-of-war camps. It is an admirably crafted observation of the sociology and the psychology, the humour and tragedy of life under capture for British officers during WW1. It tells of ingenious and daring escapes (including Harvey’s own attempts), entertainment, debating societies, music and other pastimes the prisoners devised. It is a unique book that now, over 95 years later, must surely deserve its place in literature. Many of F.W. Harvey’s greatest works were composed in the camps and the stories behind their making are included here. A comprehensive foreword and appendix are added for the benefit of modern-day readers.
While Blossom Blows and Severn Flows
Doug McLean and Jan Bayliss, have released their CD, While Blossom Blows and Severn Flows. This has been produced with the support of the Society after appeals for a recording of their work; the CD is an outstanding, lovingly produced composition.
Sample track from the CD on Vimeo:
Poems 2013 – a selection of poems read by Anthony Boden
This CD was produced by Anthony for the society at D B studios, Stroud on 6th June 2013.
Will Harvey loved the Gloucestershire countryside and was a keen walker. The F.W. Harvey Society has produced leaflets describing in detail two walks in areas Harvey knew well. See below.
These leaflets are available to buy at £2.00 each at Society events.
The F.W. Harvey Minsterworth Walk
This lovely walk begins and ends at The Apple Tree Inn opposite the house called The Redlands, which was the childhood home of Will Harvey. The leaflet features ten poems that are located or linked to riverside places, orchards and meadows which are evoked in his poetry. The walk covers gently undulating ground and includes crossing several field stiles; you may return by the original route to avoid these. You can enjoy refreshments at The Apple Tree afterwards*.
*Please note that the Apple Tree public house has now closed.
The F.W. Harvey Yorkley Walk
This two-mile walk around Yorkley features many of F.W. Harvey’s best loved poems. It follows mostly level ground, with ‘paved’ surfaces and woodland paths.
There are two stiles to negotiate (the stiles can be avoided if desired). In his later years, Will lived in Pillowell and Yorkley where he was inspired to write poetry relating to the Forest of Dean. In addition to featuring High View, the poet’s home for thirty years, the walk features landmarks such as the Cut and Fry cricket pitch that inspired the poem The Catch and reflected F.W. Harvey’s love of the game.
Refreshments can be found at the nearby hostelries of the Bailey Inn (01594 562 670) or the Nags Head (01594 562 592).