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However, his imaginative existence was to be changed dramatically by a number of traumatic experiences.
He fell into a shell hole and suffered concussion; he was blown up by a trench mortar and spent several days unconscious on an embankment lying amongst the remains of one of his fellow officers.
This is the greatly expanded edition of the out of print softbound 2012 edition, now profusely illustrated with 188 images (106 in full color) of broadsides, leaflets, letters, frontispieces & title pages and documents – most previously unpublished.
Forewords are by Jim Steinmeyer and John Gaughan, added is a photographic tribute to Don, four Don Lawton routines with patter (Clippo, Disecto, Sucker Paper Tear, Egg Bag), and articles by Bruce Cervon, Leo Behnke & Lance Burton.
His war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was heavily influenced by his mentor Siegfried Sassoon, and stood in stark contrast both to the public perception of war at the time and to the confidently patriotic verse written by earlier war poets such as Rupert Brooke.
Among his best-known works – most of which were published posthumously – are "Dulce et Decorum est", "Insensibility", "Anthem for Doomed Youth", "Futility", "Exposure" and "Strange Meeting".
Grace Thurston talks of their relationship with William Robinson (before becoming Chung Ling Soo), fooling Leon Herrmann with the Thurston Rising Cards, and even discloses the real method, not the bogus method given in the 1901 . This presents the early Thurston he didn't want you to know about. Soon afterward, Owen was diagnosed as suffering from neurasthenia or shell shock and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh for treatment.It was while recuperating at Craiglockhart that he met fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon, an encounter that was to transform Owen's life.In 1911 he passed the matriculation exam for the University of London, but not with the first-class honours needed for a scholarship, which in his family's circumstances was the only way he could have afforded to attend.
In return for free lodging, and some tuition for the entrance exam (this has been questioned During this time he attended classes at University College, Reading (now the University of Reading), in botany and later, at the urging of the head of the English Department, took free lessons in Old English.There he met the older French poet Laurent Tailhade, with whom he later corresponded in French.