Book I describes the national and social context of the late 19th Century into which Wilfred Owen was born; his family background; his life from childhood; his experiences in France as a language teacher; his decision to volunteer to join up; his joining up; his officer-training; his arrival, in the extraordinarily bitter winter of early 1917, in Flanders/North-East France, as an Officer to fight on the Front Line.

Overall, this biographical novel covers the life of Wilfred Owen – 1893 to January 1917.

Book I ‘PRESENTIMENTS’ is available to purchase on Amazon Kindle in 4 Sections as follows:-



The following details the four SECTIONS of Book I and Chapters contained within each section

SECTION 1 – Book I – Length on Kindle 65 pages

  • Historical Preface – The United Kingdom, Kingdom and Empire
  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 – An English Country Town – Modern Era
  • Chapter 2 – 1893 et seq.,. – Oswestry – Birth – sale of Plas Wilmot, the family home
  • Chapter 3 – Formative stay with his Mother at Broxton/Brown Knowl, Cheshire – April to June 1904

The Chapters – Book I – SECTION 1

  • Historical Preface
    An Historical Context and Perspective
    The First World War was the first part of the 20th Century’s World War – the worst in recorded history.
  • Preface
    ‘They want me to write in a different way. I could … but I must not …’
    Anton Bruckner

Also in poverous Homage to Wilfred Owen’s ‘Preface
This book is a biographical novel.
It has no intended ‘agenda’.
Nor does it have any ‘political intent’ – in any of the given meanings of that phrase.

  • Chapter 1  – Book I
    An English Country Town – Modern Era – connections with the past
  • Chapter 2 – Book I
    Birth at a lovely mansion, Plas Wilmot, Oswestry, Susan Owen’s beautiful family home – childhood – life following death of grandfather – discovery that he had lost all his money, resulting in sale of Plas Wilmot and all its contents – childhood life following this life-changing event.
  • Chapter 3 – Book I
    Stay at Broxton/Brown Knowl Cheshire alone with his mother – the happiest time of his childhood life – beginnings of education in finer things.

SECTION 2 – Book I – Length on Kindle 259 pages

  • Chapter 4 – Dunsden Vicarage – October 1911 – February 1913 – health breakdown
  • Chapter 5 – August 1914 – Bordeaux – Bagnères de Bigorre, Haute Pyrénées

The Chapters – Book I – SECTION 2

  • Chapter 4 – Book I
    Dunsden  October 1911 – February 1913 – the unhappiest time of his civilian life – psychological and emotional crisis – Reverend Wigan and relationship – surrounded by poverty whilst living in luxury at Wigan’s Vicarage – Henley Regatta – health breakdown – leaves Dunsden – abandons evangelical religion. Train journey outing to Swanage for boys. Assignations with Vivian Rampton and others.
  • Chapter 5 – Book I
    Bordeaux – Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Hautes Pyrénées – The Battle of the Frontiers – Time in Bordeaux as teacher of English – stay with Léger family at Bagnères-de-Bigorre, Hautes Pyrénées – outbreak of war – Battle of the Frontiers – meets poet Laurent Taillhard – An important ‘formative’ chapter. (experiences for poem – particularly ‘Strange Meeting’ ref: George Eliot’s ‘Middlemarch’)

SECTION 3 – Book I – Length on Kindle 238 pages

  • Chapter 6 – Mérignac, Bordeaux – Easter 1915 – London 1915

The Chapter – Book I – SECTION 3

  • Chapter 6 – Book I
    An important and very ‘formative’ chapter.
    Initiation – Maundy Thursday – Bordeaux – Easter 1915 – London 1915 – Mérignac, Bordeaux – Bordeaux Easter 1915 – Thursday 1st April to Sunday 4th April 1915 – exposure to the numinous ‘ecstatic mysticism’ of Roman Catholicism – London 1915 – Time in Bordeaux as teacher of English –– Mérignac, Bordeaux – de la Touche family – Maundy Thursday service (experience/s for poem – ‘Maundy Thursday’) – assignations – Visits London, taking the de la Touche boys, Johnny and Bobby, back to school – observes a Boy at Limehouse – meets a Kabbalist – many visions, past present and future, including precognition of Strange Meeting (experience/s for poem/s including – ‘Lines to a Beauty seen at Limehouse – the half-god – Shadwell Stair ‘ghost’ – ‘The Ghost of Shadwell Stair’ – Concert at Queens Hall –

SECTION 4 –Length on Kindle 267 pages

  • Chapter 7 – 1915 – Navy Boy – Joining up Artists’ Rifles – Romford, Gidea Park – Officer Training – Colonel Shirley
  • Chapter 8 – December 1916/January 1917 – last meeting with his Mother before embarkation for France – arrives at Calais and the chaos of  Étaples

SECTION 4 – Book I – The Chapters

  • Chapter 7 – Book I
    Meets the ‘Navy Boy’ (experience/s for poem – ‘The Navy Boy’) on a train when travelling for a visit home in Shrewsbury – sexual experience – returns to London – goes though the process of Army medical examination and then goes through the process of joining up at Artists Rifles Headquarters near St Pancras in the Marylebone Road – finally joins up.Romford/Gidea Park – Training at various places – Colonel Shirley and his standard  ‘famous’ war lecture – Training 1915 – 1916 –‘Morale: the most important factor in war …’ Lt-Col William Shirley – visits the Williams’s  – certified fit for an Officer’s Commission – On 19th May 1916, Colonel Shaw – O.C. Artists’ Rifles Cadet Unit – signed to the effect that, ‘I certify that I have seen Cadet Wilfred Edward Salter Owen and can recommend him as a suitable candidate in every way to being appointed to a commission. E.S.F Shaw Lt Col Commanding Artists Rifles Cadet Unit  – Station Gidea Hall Romford .- Date 19.5.16.’ Even his signature had to be counter-signed. It was – on 20th May 1916. Colonel Shirley countersigned – as the ‘Officer selected by the Army Council’ for the purpose – ‘W.Shirley.   Station – Hare Hall Camp Romford. Date – May 20th 1916.  Commanding ————-’
  • Chapter 8  – Book I
    December 1916/January 1917  – Last meeting with Mother before going to France – The ‘Maternal Conversation’ at Southport – goes  to Folkestone for passage to France -– sails to France arrives at Calais and the chaos of  Étaples