This thesis, the first extended consideration of the work of Brian Jones (1938-2009), serves as both a re-introduction to and a reassessment of his poetic œuvre. It considers the work for the most part chronologically, noting developments and changes of direction. After a brief introduction and a note on context, Chapter Two deals with Poems (1966), which was met with popular and critical acclaim, sold over a thousand copies in its first month of publication, and brought a young poet an unusual degree of media attention that focused on what was seen as a fresh approach to domestic and personal subject matter. Chapter Three discusses A Family Album (1968), a set of four monologues spoken by members of an extended working-class Islington family who all use the same verse-format. Chapter Four notes how, in Interior (1969), the male voice is largely replaced by the female as Jones extended his range and sought to avoid too obvious autobiographical associations. Chapter Five focuses on For Mad Mary (1974), which again includes the influential figure of the reclusive Aunt Emily, continued Jones's interest in the verse-sequence, and introduces poems written from a historical and public perspective. The Island Normal (1980), discussed in Chapter Six, draws heavily on contemporary England, the English Civil War and Aeneas's journey of re-creation from Troy. Jones returns to domestic concerns in The Children of Separation (1985) and to political matters in the last volume published in his lifetime, Freeborn John (1990), collections dealt with in Chapters Seven and Eight. New & Selected Poems (2013), considered in Chapter Nine, includes uncollected poems that issue from both the contentment he found with his second wife in Normandy, and a greater awareness of other poetries. By this time, Jones had more or less disappeared from any kind of critical attention.
|1 Feb 2015
|Unpublished - 2015