This Day in History: 1937-07-11

Dylan and Caitlin Thomas, late 1930s11 July 1937: Dylan Thomas marries.

Poet, Dylan Thomas and Caitlin Macnamara were married in a registry office in Penzance, Cornwall today in 1937. He had met Caitlin, a 22-year-old blonde-haired, blue-eyed dancer of Irish and French descent early the previous year.

Thomas was most in his element in female company, and his short personal life was characterised by tales of bohemian romps and torrid love affairs, punctuated by frequent reckless bouts of heavy drinking. Caitlin, who deeply resented his extramarital affairs, remained the one true, great love of his life. Together they had two sons and a daughter. Dylan Thomas died in New York on 9 November 1953, aged 39.

Caitlin’s autobiographies later described the effects of alcohol on their relationship. “Ours was not only a love story, it was a drink story, because without alcohol it would never had got on its rocking feet”, she wrote, and “The bar was our altar.”


Susannah Fullerton: On Writers and Drinking

Featured image credit- Dylan and Caitlin Thomas, late 1930s, By John Griffiths – Fair use,