Helen Noble (1877-1967) loved her father, the writer and editor James Ashcroft Noble, and was alienated from her mother as much as Edward Thomas loved his mother and hated his father. Fortunately James Noble liked Thomas when the young writer came to call on the editor, and Helen Noble saw him frequently in her family’s house
. Shy at first because he was shy, Helen then sought him out, and, in time, they became lovers united by their love of poetry and the beauty of the English countryside. When Helen Noble became pregnant, Edward Thomas married her, and their first child, a son, was born in 1900.
Intensely in love, they lived together in near-poverty on Thomas’s earnings as a writer and reviewer. Often melancholy and depressed, Thomas was cold and almost cruel to Helen and their children-then he hated himself afterward. He frequently left his family in order to travel alone ostensibly to gather material for his travel books.