Two Forgotten Classics by former foundry worker William Glynne-Jones are to be published in the Library of Wales series.
William Glynne-Jones was born and grew up in Llanelli. When he was 16, he started working at the Glanmor Foundry as a steel foundry ‘moulder’, but was released at the age of 36 on medical grounds. The novels Farewell Innocence and Ride the White Stallion are semi-autobiographical accounts of the journey of Ieuan Morgan from foundry worker to man of letters.
They are described by the writer and broadcaster Jon Gower as being
“Written with a deep authenticity born from bitter experience, William Glynne-Jones depicts life in the fictional town of Abermôr and especially the daily grind of foundry life, in a workplace fraught with dangers. Farewell Innocence is a heartfelt and affecting account of a young man’s rites of passage in hard times.”
“A world of green: a new and weird world of grim, dark shadows and frenzied activity; of conflicting sounds varying from the roar and thunder of overhead gantries, the sharp, shrill staccato beat of automatic hammers, to the echoing ring of steel upon steel, and the hollow wheezing and thumping of the hydraulic moulding machines”.
Starting as an apprentice at Bevan’s foundry, Ieuan Morgan enters a new and testing world. His colleagues soon turn out to be his tormentors while life at home is not without its challenges. It is hard for the young man to sustain his dreams of one day being a writer, and of a better world. Things have to get worse before getting better so unemployment casts its long shadow over the town. But the lay-offs give the gifted Ieuan time to read and think and on a visit to the fair to meet Sally, a gentle, consumptive young woman from the wrong side of the tracks. With this, his destiny changes course.
Ride the White Stallion
“The foundry was working at full pressure. In spite of the dismal conditions – the stifling heat, the silica dust that hung in clouds in the air, the crude ventilation, and the strenuous labour – the men seemed happy and companionable. A certain measure of security had come at last after the long years of unemployment; the dread of the dole was behind them”.
Life in the foundry is changing Ieuan Morgan, whose hands, once familiar only with the feel of books are now dark, knotted and fiercely strong. He dreams of writing and the day his young love Sally will come home from the convalescence home. When that day arrives Ieuan’s life starts to feel complete and marriage only deepens that conviction. But much longed for success with his writing brings with it new temptations, when Stella Courtland, the sophisticated editor of a fashionable magazine enters the young man’s life.
Ride the White Stallion is the sequel to Farewell Innocence, charting the trials and travails of Ieuan Morgan at the foundry and in his family life. It is an account of a young man’s creative awakening amid the challenges of domestic penury and downright hard graft. A portrait of an industrial town as well as a convincing character study, Ride the White Stallion is shot through with truth and honesty, twin hallmarks of Glynne-Jones’s work.
About the Author
William Glynne-Jones (1907–1977) was a Welsh novelist, short story writer, broadcaster and journalist. He was born and grew up in Llanelli. When he was 16, he started working at the Glanmor Foundry as a steel foundry ‘moulder’, but was released at the age of 36 on medical grounds. Soon, he moved to London with his family and started his career as a writer. Many of his works have been published, including four novels, several children’s books and short story anthologies.