May Cannan

Standard Name: Cannan, May
Birth Name: May Wedderburn Cannan
Pseudonym: M. W. C.
MC was a war poet in and shortly after the First World War. In her (posthumously published) autobiography she performs, from a different viewpoint, something of the same function as Vera Brittain as the historian of a generation.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Dedications Carola Oman
CO published her book of war poetry, The Menin Road and Other Poems, dedicated To four V.A.D.'s, Lillian Chapman , May Wedderburn Cannan , Janet Dundas Allen , Una Barron.
Oman, Carola. The Menin Road and Other Poems. Hodder and Stoughton.
Education Carola Oman
At seven CO was sent to Miss Batty's and Miss Lee's School in Oxford (later called Wychwood School ); there she met the Cannan sisters, May and Joanna , who both later became writers.
Oman, Carola. An Oxford Childhood. Hodder and Stoughton.
Family and Intimate relationships Sir J. M. Barrie
This marriage was unhappy. (Barrie's unsuitability for the married state had been forecast in a notebook he kept as a student: Far finer and nobler things in the world than loving a girl & getting...
Family and Intimate relationships Sir J. M. Barrie
Without children of his own, Barrie had a habit of monopolising the children of friends, for whom he invented elaborate games. Among children so situated were Bevil Quiller-Couch (who was later the fiancé of the...
Family and Intimate relationships Joanna Cannan
Charles Cannan of Oxford University Press , father of the writers May and JC , died.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray et al., editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
under Charles Cannan
Family and Intimate relationships Joanna Cannan
JC 's next elder sister, May , became known (briefly) as a poet of the First World War. She later published only a single novel and a posthumous autobiography.
Publishing Carola Oman
The Menin Road was the road leading east out of Ypres; it was notorious as a scene of desolation and ruin. She addressed her dedicatees, in memory of days we served together in England...
Textual Features Jessie Fothergill
Devoted almost entirely to music and Germany (two interests that recur in subsequent novels), The First Violin is the story of May Wedderburn, a naive but willful English woman, who travels to Germany as her...
Textual Features Philip Larkin
His selection was resolutely unfashionable, favouring Hardy and Betjeman at the expense of Eliot and Pound . He was, however, remarkably generous in his selection of women poets (often for just one or two poems...
Textual Features May Sinclair
Like May Cannan (different though Cannan's idiom is), MS continued to express her regret over her exclusion from the via dolorosa of the war: like an unloved hand laid on a beating heart / Our...
Textual Production Joanna Cannan
When JC was still at school, she and her sisters, Dorothea and May , got together and had a collection of their favourite poems published. This anthology appeared with their initials as The Tripled Crown...
Textual Production Judith Kazantzis
This remarkable anthology brings to a wider audience poems by many otherwise unknown writers, as well as by, for instance, Vera Brittain , Edith Sitwell , Nancy Cunard , Cicely Hamilton , Rose Macaulay ,...


1 July 1916: A British advance on the River Somme resulted...

National or international item

1 July 1916

A British advance on the River Somme resulted in appalling losses: 60,000 (including 19,000 British) died the first day, and 400,000 British by the end of the battle, on 18 November.


Cannan, May, and Bevil Quiller-Couch. “Editorial Materials”. The Tears of War, edited by Charlotte Fyfe, Cavalier Books, 2000, p. Various pages.
Cannan, May, and Basil Blackwood. Grey Ghosts and Voices. Roundwood Press, 1976.
Cannan, May. In War Time, Poems. B. H. Blackwell; Longmans, Green, 1917.
Cannan, May, and Phyllis Gardner. The House of Hope, Poems. Humphrey Milford, 1923.
Cannan, May. The Lonely Generation. Hutchinson, 1934.
Cannan, May. The Splendid Days, Poems. B. H. Blackwell; Longmans, Green, 1919.
Cannan, May, and Bevil Quiller-Couch. The Tears of War. Editor Fyfe, Charlotte, Cavalier Books, 2000.
Cannan, Margaret Dorothea et al., editors. The Tripled Crown. Henry Frowde, 1908, p. 304 pp.