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.
The first of Lewis Jones' two epic industrial novels of the 1930s.
Big Jim, collier and ex-Boer War soldier, and his partner Siân endure the impact of strikes, riots and war, while their son Len emerges as a sharp thinker and dynamic political organiser.
Cwmardy paints a graphic portrait of the casual exploitation, tragedy and violence as well as the political hope and humanity of South Wales industrial workers from the 1900s to the 1930s.
The second of Lewis Jones' two epic industrial novels of the 1930s.
Len, son of Big Jim and dynamic political organiser, takes centre stage in Lewis Jones' sequel to Cwmardy. Along his journey, he is influenced by Mary, a teacher, and the Communist Party, which becomes central to his work both underground and in union politics, and to his decision to leave and fight in the Spanish Civil War.
We Live paints a graphic portrait of the casual exploitation, tragedy and violence as well as the political hope and humanity of South Wales industrial workers from the 1900s to the 1930s.
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
Aged fifty, acclaimed by the literary intelligentsia and exalted by London society since the publication of The Autobiography of the Super-Tramp in 1908, W. H. Davies finally decided to marry. Casting aside the praise and trinkets which populated his old life, he took to the streets of London to find a bride towards the end of World War One.
From his affair with Bella, the wife of a Sergeant Major, to his year-long liaison with the gentle Louise, to the turbulent brushes with a drunkard who fears her own murder at his hands, Davies lurches from happiness and affection to annoyance and apathy. That is, until he meets Emma.
A moving and revealing memoir of real life at the turn of the century, Young Emma is W. H. Davies’ frank and honest account of the relationship with the woman he encountered on a London street corner who was to become his wife.
Featuring a foreword by C. V. Wedgewood and an appendix by George Bernard Shaw.
“An extraordinary memoir destined to become a classic” Publishers Weekly
“Young Emma is a masterpiece, and stranger than any fiction” Sunday Telegraph
“Classic... remarkable... an extraordinary manuscript” The Observer
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
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 at outside-half. 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