Secret diary of Dylan Thomas' marriage up for sale

Saturday 22 October 2011 23:13

A diary offering a rare insight into both sides of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas's infamously rocky marriage is up for sale.

Caitlin Macnamara, his wife, is famously said to have barged into hospital when Thomas lay on his death bed and bellowed: "Is the bloody man dead yet?"

But it now appears that there was a different, albeit less publicised, side to the Thomas union, according to a private journal written by Mrs Thomas.

In one entry, following Thomas's death on November 9, 1953, she talks of her longing to one day snuggle with him in the grave, adding: "Oh God, oh Dylan, it must be cold down there; it is cold enough on top, in November: the dirtiest month of the year that killed you on the ninth vile day. If only I could take you a bowl of your bread, and milk, and salt, that you always drank at night, to warm you up."

The literary genius, from Laugharne in Carmarthenshire, was a notorious boozer and womaniser, even after marrying Caitlin, who he met in a pub in London in 1936. Thomas died aged 39 in New York on November 9, 1953, while his wife died in 1994.

Her journal is one of 40 pieces being sold for £250,000 on behalf of a New York-based collector by London antiquarian bookseller Rick Gekoski.

Mr Gekoski said: "It was a tumultuous marriage, of that there is no doubt, but what this collection has is both sides of it.

"It is very raw and emotional. Sometimes she says 'Oh my God, I wish I'd never married him' and at other times she wishes she was in the grave with him giving him a cuddle."

Bloomsbury-based Gekoski added: "The collection is of museum-quality importance. It's the best collection in private hands - and it's cheap.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments