A Delicate Wildness
The Life and Loves of David Thomson 1914-1988
By: Julian Vignoles
“complex and elusive” -Irish Examiner
David Thompson was a Scottish writer, folklorist and radio producer, who became an honorary Irishman. His life took a defining turn when as a student of history at Oxford, he came to County Roscommon in the early 1930’s as tutor to an Anglo-Irish family, the Kirkwoods. He fell in love with his charge, Phoebe, the daughter of the house, and returned to London in 1939, becoming a radio producer with the BBC, where he spent the remainder of his working days.
David Thomson was affecting, febrile and uniquely talented. His life was dominated by his love of women and locale – Ireland, Scotland, London – sensuous worlds apprehended through the artistry of his written legacy. With over fifty unseen photographs, this biography speaks to the writer’s ‘delicate wildness’ (Seamus Heaney’s phrase) and to the contradictions and passions of a singular man.