Dannie Abse 1923–2014: A tribute featuring music by Jobina Tinnemans
22 September 1923–28 September 2014
Carwyn: A Personal Memoir by Alun Richards is new in the Library of Wales series. It has been described by The Times "As one of the most readable books on rugby" written by the Pontypridd born writer and dramatist Alun Richards. This new and revised edition is launched at London's Brand Exchange on Friday, March 6th by the writer and publisher Lewis Davies, author of Work, Sex and Rugby and twice winner of Bryncoch RFC second team Player of the Year award. The launch begins at 6pm - 9pm and will be followed by an art exhibition.
Welsh Week is a week of Welsh art, food, music and culture to celebrate St David’s Day, organised by Brand Exchange and The Gallery Yr Oriel Newport Pembs. Entry to the gallery and events is free to invited guests. To reserve your place, please email enquiries@brandexchange specifying which event(s) you would like to attend or call 0207 389 9410.
Carwyn James treated rugby football as if it was an art form and aesthetics part of the coaching manual. This son of a miner, from Cefneithin in the Gwendraeth Valley, was a cultivated literary scholar, an accomplished linguist, a teacher, and a would-be patriot politician, who also won two caps for Wales. He was the first man to coach any British Lions side to overseas victory, and still the only one to beat the All Blacks in a series in New Zealand. That was in 1971, and it was followed in 1972 by the triumph of his beloved Llanelli against the touring All Blacks at Stradey Park. These were the high-water marks of a life of complexity and contradiction. His subsequent and successful career as broadcaster and journalist and then a return to the game as a coach in Italy never quite settled his restless nature.
After his sudden death, alone in an Amsterdam hotel, his close friend, the Pontypridd-born writer, Alun Richards set out through what he called “A Personal Memoir” to reflect on the enigma that had been Carwyn. The result, a masterpiece of sports writing, is a reflection on the connected yet divergent cultural forces which had shaped both the rugby coach and the author; a dazzling sidestep of an essay in both social and personal interpretation.
“One of the most readable books on rugby... a stylish contribution to the game’s history.” The Times
“The best evocation there is of this charismatic if restless man.” Gerald Davies
“The Welsh persona is at the heart of Alun Richards’s book, so much so that the reader could be forgiven for imagining that Dylan Thomas played fly half for Swansea and that Harry Secombe hooked for Pontypool, and perhaps still does... untold pleasure and excitement.” Chris Laidlaw, The Sunday Times
“A craftsman, a wordsmith who can compel you to re-read and savour a sentence, a paragraph or a number of pages...” The Observer
“Stayed up half the night and cracked the dawn. Loved it.” Cliff Morgan
“A beautifully written insight into the very heart and soul of Welsh Rugby and a handsome addition to the literature of the game.” Bill McLaren
After releasing number 39 in the Library of Wales series last October - Rhys Davies' second novel in his acclaimed Rhondda trilogy, A Time to Laugh - we're barely stopping to pause for breath after the Christmas break in our quest to bring you more classic Anglo-Welsh fiction! Indeed, we have another four releases forthcoming in the next three months:
1) New, separate editions of Cwmardy and We Live, Lewis Jones' epic industrial novels of the 1930s, which will comprise numbers 4 and 41 in the series respectively. These are being finalised and will be released shortly, replacing the current dual edition.
2) Autobiography of a Super-tramp author W. H. Davies' moving and revealing memoir of real life at the turn of the century, Young Emma. This will comprise number 40 in the series, and will be released in early March.
W. H. Davies
3) Carwyn: A Personal Memoir, Alun Richards' personal reflection on the connected yet divergent cultural forces which had shaped both himself and the legendary Welsh rugby coach Carwyn James, will also follow in early March as number 42 in the series.
Carwyn: A Personal Memoir
22 September 1923–28 September 2014
Every day throughout May, you will be able to visit the Library of Wales website to download your free story, drawn from Story, vols I and II - a collection boasting the finest Welsh short fiction ever written and featuring some of the most talented literary names from both past and present, including the legendary Dylan Thomas and the award-winning Rachel Trezise, as well as read all about the chosen author.
Day 31: ‘The Conquered' by Dorothy Edwards
(Taken from Rhapsody, 1927)
Dorothy Edwards was born in 1903 in Ogmore Vale, a small mining community in Mid Glamorgan. Her father, an ardent socialist and Independent Labour Party leader, was the local school headmaster. Like her father, she was politically active, working for socialist and Welsh nationalist causes, although she always wrote in English. After a scholarship to Howell's School for Girls, Llandaf, she took a degree at Cardiff University in Greek and Philosophy, but literature was her passion and soon after graduating her short stories began to appear in magazines and journals. These were collected in Rhapsody(1927), along with several previously unpublished stories written during the nine months Edwards spent in Vienna and Florence. Her novel Winter Sonata (1928) followed shortly afterwards. She spent the following years trying to supplement her mother’s meagre pension by writing stories and articles for magazines and newspapers, and doing some extra-mural teaching at Cardiff University, but she never undertook full-time employment. After a brief period spent living in London with acquaintances from the’ Bloomsbury circle, Edwards committed suicide on a Cardiff railway line in 1934. A note left in her pocket at the time of her death read: ‘I am killing myself because I have never sincerely loved any human being all my life. I have accepted kindness and friendship and even love without gratitude, and given nothing in return.'
You can download the story in PDF format here. (If download does not start, then right click the link and select 'Save link as'.)
Rhapsody (Library of Wales, 2007)
Story I (anthology) (Library of Wales, 2014)