It took Robert Frost – and a summer of walks in Gloucestershire in 1914 – to talk Edward Thomas into writing poems. Until that summer, Thomas had been a Grub Street familiar, living by the pen; Frost was an obscure American with a new theory of versification. The encounter was to prove decisive in the life and work of both men. Championed by Thomas, Frost gained literary recognition, with poems such as ‘Home Burial’, ‘Mending Wall’ and ‘The Road Not Taken’, and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry four times. But for Frost, Thomas may never have come into his gift, or the sense of fulfilment that came with his self-discovery as a poet – a period of unforeseen happiness cut short on the Western Front, where Thomas was killed in action on Easter Monday 1917.