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The lost great modernist: the unpredictable life of David Jones

Thomas Dilworth on an artist who has slipped through the floorboards of history—who he believes was "far greater" than Blake

By Minoo Dinshaw   July 2017

David Jones: Engraver, Soldier, Painter, Poet by Thomas Dilworth (Jonathan Cape, £25)

David Jones, described here by his biographer Thomas Dilworth as “the lost great modernist,” has slipped through the floorboards of history. A beguiling painter and a peerless engraver, Jones also produced a body of poetry unique in form and esoteric in content. Dilworth, who considers Jones “far greater” than William Blake, invokes his most famous admirers, including TS Eliot, Igor Stravinsky, Evelyn Waugh and the Queen Mother.

Born in 1895 into an East London household in Brockley, Jones grew up…

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