Hundred Years of Fiction: Welsh Fictions in English

Overview

A Hundred Years of Fiction is the first book to explore and analyse the Anglophone fiction of Wales in the twentieth century. Stephen Knight looks at writers who deal with Welsh life and issues, ranging from Allen Raine to Christopher Meredith, and asks how they relate to the determining forces of their period and contexts, from the economy and politics to concepts of Welsh identity and the pressures of a colonial situation.

The book is in three sections. The first deals with ...

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Overview

A Hundred Years of Fiction is the first book to explore and analyse the Anglophone fiction of Wales in the twentieth century. Stephen Knight looks at writers who deal with Welsh life and issues, ranging from Allen Raine to Christopher Meredith, and asks how they relate to the determining forces of their period and contexts, from the economy and politics to concepts of Welsh identity and the pressures of a colonial situation.

The book is in three sections. The first deals with colonial and touristic fiction from the late nineteenth century on, noting that some authors like 'Allen Raine’ and Margiad Evans, as well as delighting English readers with quaintness, also represented what they saw as the real values of Welsh social culture. Section two shows how writing about the industrial settlement broke with a colonized viewpoint and working-class authors like Jack Jones, Lewis Jones and Gwyn Thomas realized with verve and embattled anger the situation on the coalfield - though some, like Richard Llewellyn, reversed that pattern into industrial romance.

After the second world war, as section three describes, writers increasingly wrote about a Wales that sought self-sufficiency, and many of them, often Welsh-speaking like Emyr Humphreys, Menna Gallie, and Christopher Meredith, sought to integrate some of the native traditions with the English language culture in which they wrote. At the end of the twentieth century there is a surge of Welsh writers in English, often now published in Wales, women’s voices strong among them, who are aware both of the difficult circumstances in which they live and of their status as writers contributing to the self-awareness of an increasingly independent-minded country.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

 Stephen Knight is Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University. He is the author of many essays, including ones on Raymond Williams, Gwyn Thomas and Rhys Davies, and the editor of British Industrial Fictions (UWP, 1999). His other books include Form and Ideology in Crime Fiction (1980), Arthurian Literature and Society (1983), Geoffrey Chaucer (1986), Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw (1994), Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography ( 2003) and Crime Fiction 1800-2000: Detection, Death, Diversity (2004).

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Table of Contents

Sect. 1 First contact and romance 1
1.1 Colonial contexts 1
1.2 First-contact tales and romances 10
1.3 From romance towards ethnography : Amy Dillwyn and Allen Raine 15
1.4 The romance of industry : Joseph Keating 25
1.5 Rural anti-romance : Caradoc Evans 31
1.6 The romance of Powys : Geraint Goodwin, Hilda Vaughan and Margiad Evans 40
Sect. 2 The industrial settlement 51
2.1 Situations 51
2.2 From a distance : Rhys Davies 64
2.3 Town and family fiction : Jack Jones and Gwyn Jones 75
2.4 Political fiction : Lewis Jones and B. L. Coombes 85
2.5 Hybridized resistance : Gwyn Thomas 93
2.6 The return of romance : Richard Llewellyn 113
Sect. 3 Integration and independence 119
3.1 Towards integration : Glyn Jones, Dylan Thomas and Alun Lewis 119
3.2 Eclectic integration : Michael Gareth Llewelyn and Menna Gallie 127
3.3 A wider Wales : Emyr Humphreys 131
3.4 A wider Wales : Raymond Williams 135
3.5 Looking backwards 166
3.6 Women's writing 171
3.7 After industry 175
3.8 Wales written in English 187
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