The autobiography of a super-tramp by William Henry Davies 1917 PDF book

Download The autobiography of a super-tramp by William Henry Davies 1917 PDF book


This is the autobiography of the author William Henry Davies

William Henry Davies or W. H. Davies was a Welsh poet and writer. Davies spent a significant part of his life as a tramp or hobo, in the United Kingdom and the United States, but became one of the most popular poets of his time.

 Born: July 3, 1871, Newport, United Kingdom Died: September 26, 1940, Nailsworth, United Kingdom Full name: William Henry Davies Nationality: British



An excerpt from the author's introduction

I hasten to protest at the outset that I have no personal knowledge of the incorrigible Super- tramp who wrote this amazing book. If he is to be encouraged and approved, then British morality- is a mockery, British respectability an imposture, and British industry a vice


. Perhaps they are: I have always kept an open mind on the subject, but still one may ask some better ground for pitching them out of the window than the caprice of a tramp. I hope these expressions will not excite unreasonable expectations of a thrilling realistic romance, or a scandalous chronicle, to follow.


 Mr. Davies' autobiography is not a bit sensational: it might be the Post Office Directory for the matter of that. A less simple-minded Supertramp would not have thought it worth writing at all; for it mentions nothing that might not have happened to any of us. As to scandal, I, though a most respectable author, have never written half so proper a book. These prudent pages are unstained with the frightful language, the debased dialect, of the fictitious proletarians of Mr. Rudyard Kipling and other genteel writers. In them, the patrons of the casual ward and the doss- house argue with the decorum of Socrates and narrate in the style of Tacitus.


They have that pleasant combination of childish freshness with scrupulous literary conscientiousness only possible to people for whom speech, spoken or written, but especially written, is still a feat to be admired and shown off for its own sake. Not for the life of me could I capture that boyish charm and combine it with the savior vivre of an experienced man of the world, much less of an experienced tramp. The innocence of the author's manner and the perfection of his delicacy is such, that you might read his book aloud in an almshouse without shocking the squeamishness of old age. As for the young, nothing shocks the young.

 The immorality of the matter is stupendous, but it is purely industrial immorality. As to the sort of immorality that is most dreaded by schoolmistresses and duennas, there is not a word in the book to suggest that tramps know even what it means. On the contrary, I can quite believe that the author would die of shame if he were asked to write such books as Adam Bede or David Copper- field.


Author: William Henry Davies
 Publication Date:1917


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