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In Zodiac Light

In Zodiac Light

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In December 1922, Ivor Gurney, ex-soldier, poet and composer was transferred from Barnwood House Asylum in Gloucester to the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford. Suffering from increasingly frequent and deepening bouts of ‘Systemized Delusional Insanity’ — paranoid schizophrenia — Gurney was to spend the rest of his life there until his death in 1937. Neglected by the military and by his own family, and abandoned by all but a notable handful of his friends, Gurney descended into the madness and oblivion which he believed had long been waiting to claim him. But for a short period following his arrival at Dartford, there seemed to be those who continued to believe in Gurney’s capabilities. A belief that by having finally found some calm and ease in his life, he might at last achieve the status of a major composer that some considered him capable of becoming. Few of those now responsible for Gurney, however, had any true idea of what he had endured on the Western Front during almost three years of military service, or of what he had already achieved in both his poetry and his compositions.
Lrg edition