(The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp is an autobiography fi...)
The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp is an autobiography first published in 1908 by the Welsh poet and writer W. H. Davies. A large part of the book's subject matter describes the way of life of the tramp in United Kingdom, Canada and the United States in the final decade of the 19th century.
(Young Emma is a moving and revealing memoir told with dis...)
Young Emma is a moving and revealing memoir told with disarming honesty and humour. Davies records his life with three women: from his affair with Bella, the wife of a Sergeant Major, to his year-long liaison with the gentle Louise, to the turbulent brushes with a society woman who fears for her own life at his hands. He finally meets Emma, then pregnant, at a bus stop on the Edgware Road. This is the story of their love affair.
William Henry Davies was a Welsh poet and writer. The principal themes in his work are observations about life's hardships, the ways in which the human condition is reflected in nature.
William Henry Davies was born on July 3, 1871, in Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales. His early years were filled with turmoil, beginning with the death of his father. When his mother remarried, Davies was sent to live with his paternal grandparents. He remained there until he left for school to pursue an apprenticeship as a frame maker.
Davies was awarded an honorary doctorate, at the University of Wales in 1929.
The turbulence of his childhood had made the young man restless, and soon Davies embarked on a voyage to America in 1893, where he hoped to find fame and fortune. Instead, he traveled around the country, taking odd jobs or panhandling to make money. In 1898, Davies found himself back in Europe, first in Britain, and then in Wales, working as a cattle wrangler and fruit picker, among other things. While life had not been easy for him, Davies was filled with a sense of purpose. After returning to London a bit discouraged, Davies was urged by friends to try his hand at writing. Davies published his first book in 1905, largely at his own expense. He sent it out to various publishers without much success. However, it did catch the eye of George Bernard Shaw, who sent it out to other notable writers. Edward Thomas and Edward Garnett were both impressed by Davies and went out of their way to help the young writer. Thomas arranged for Davies to use a cottage to write his next project; Thomas and friends paid for rent, coal, and light.
It was at this cottage that Davies wrote his most well-known piece of literature, Autobiography of a Supertramp. Published in 1908, Autobiography of a Supertramp was an instant success, thanks in part to Thomas’s guidance and editing, and George Bernard Shaw’s preface. The success of this work catapulted Davies to fame, and soon he was running with an elite crowd of literary types. Davies followed Autobiography of a Supertramp with a collection of poems entitled Nature Poems and Others. Also published in 1908, this work established him as a poet. This became his signature style, and throughout the rest of his career, Davies would receive the most praise and recognition for his poetry.
In 1909, thanks to the financial successes of his work thus far, Davies moved to Sevenoaks. This relocation would serve him well. During his tenure at Sevenoaks, Davies would be at his prolific peak, publishing both novels as well as books of poetry. Some of these volumes include the novels Beggars, and A Weak Woman, as well as the poetry anthologies Farewell to Poesy, Songs of Joy, and Foliage: Various Poems.
In 1913, Davies moved to London. He continued publishing on an annual basis, but his focus shifted to socializing. His major works of this period include 1925’s Later Days, and 1927’s Dancing Mad.
While nature was a favorite subject, Davies would also write about social injustice, hardship, and pain, drawing upon much of his early life experiences.
While Davies preferred poetry to fiction, he found that novels sold better, and so he would alternate between the two literary forms in an effort to feed himself financially as well as creatively.
In 1899, Davies set out in search of gold in the Klondike. However, misfortune caught up with him first in Ontario, Canada. While trying to hop a train, Davies stumbled, seriously injuring his leg. It was later amputated, and Davies would walk with a wooden leg for the rest of his life.
Quotes from others about the person
“The long-prevailing picture of Davies as a totally naive and unspoiled innocent, dedicated to simplicity, is off the mark. Some of his best poetry is, indeed, simple, direct, and lyrical in a near-Blakean manner; but most of it - such as the famous The Inquest’ - derives from his darker, slyer, and more depressive side.” - Grushow
In 1923, Davies married Helen Payne. After his marriage to Helen, Davies experienced a period of contentment. This was probably the only time in Davies’ life when he felt emotionally secure in someone’s love for him. His security was mirrored in his work, as he started incorporating the themes of love and marriage into his writing.