A vagrant de Tocqueville gives an eloquent, dry-eyed report of his tramping adventures in the violent underworld of late 19th century America and Britain An untutored Welsh tramp who became a popular poet acclaimed by the conservative Georgians and the vanguard Ezra Pound alike, W. H. Davies surprised his contemporaries with the unlikeliest portrait of the artist as a young man ever written.
After a delinquent childhood Davies renounced home and apprenticeship and at twenty-two sailed to America--the first of more than a dozen Atlantic crossings, often made by cattle boat. From 1893 to 1899 he was schooled by the hard men of the road, disdaining regular work and subsisting by begging. Crossing Canada to join the Klondyke gold rush, Davies fell while hopping a train. His foot was crushed and his leg amputated. All the wildness had been taken out of me, Davies wrote, and my adventures after this were not of my own seeking.
Praised by Osbert Sitwell for his primitive splendour and directness, Davies evokes the beauty and frontier violence of turn-of-the-century America in prose that George Bernard Shaw commended to literary experts for its style alone. The insurgent wanderlust that found an American voice in Jack London and Jack Kerouac is expressed here in a raucous true adventure story by the man Shaw called the incorrigible Supertramp who wrote this amazing book.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
At the age of fifty, towards the end of the First World War, W. H. Davies decided that he must marry. Spurning London society and the literary circles where he had been lionised since the publication of his Autobiography of a Super-Tramp, he set about looking for the right partner on the streets of London.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.