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1. WELSH SHORT STORIES: an anthology 
Faber and Faber, 1937 491pp

The first Anglo-Welsh short story anthology; no editor is listed, but help is acknowledged from Elisabeth Inglis-Jones, Ll. Wyn Griffith, James Hanley and Arthur Jones. There is no introduction, only a note on sources, but this is evidently one volume in a series - Irish, Welsh, mystery stories, adventure stories etc. There are five Welsh-language writers included, and eight out of the twenty-six writers are women; only three of those included were already dead in 1937, but there was some attempt to cover earlier twentieth century authors.

(NB There must have been a large print run for this book; copies are still relatively easy to find, unlike its 1959 successor.)

Includes:

E. Tegla Davies (W) Eiluned Lewis

Hywel Davies Arthur Machen

Rhys Davies Richard Pryce

Blanche Devereux Ifan Pughe

Dorothy Edwards Allen Raine

Caradoc Evans Frank Richards

Margiad Evans Kate Roberts (W)

Sian Evans Dylan Thomas

Geraint Goodwin Herbert M. Vaughan

Jack Griffith Hilda Vaughan

Richard Hughes D.J. Williams (W)

Glyn Jones J. Ellis Williams (W)

Gwyn Jones Richard H. Williams (W)

 

2. ROWLAND, John ed. - Path and Pavement: twenty new tales of Britain. Eric Grant, London 1937 314pp

The editor proposes this volume as `a synthesis of regional life` by `prominent authors` of the last five decades (i.e. Arthur Machen qualifies as a representative of the eighteen nineties). Rhys Davies is described as one `of the most distinguished modern novelists of the younger school`. Apart from Hugh McDiarmid, Philip Lindsay, Kenneth Hare and (possibly) Hamish Maclaren, the non-Welsh writers here have sunk without a trace.

Welsh contents: Rhys Davies

Arthur Machen

T.F. Powys and Llewellyn Powys are included.

Edgar Jepson`s story is based on the Borders with a survival of

Celtic paganism.

John Gawsworth`s `All of Me` is set in Gwent.

Jack Lindsay`s `The Rescue` is set in Celtic Britain (Boudica)

John Hampson`s `The Third Gift` is not set in Wales, but is

`School of Arthur Machen`.

3. JONES, Gwyn ed. - Welsh Short Stories Penguin Books, 1941 154pp

Gwyn Jones`s first collection. It includes twelve English-language writers, four Welsh-language writers (and A. Edward Richards wrote in both languages); two are women - Kate Roberts and Sian Evans. Most of the English-language writers were from the Welsh Review circle, and only Arthur Machen was from an earlier generation. (E. Tegla Davies and W.J. Gruffydd were probably his Welsh-language counterparts.) Sian Evans survives only in the one story included here; why she was preferred over her much more prolific sister Margiad is not stated, but Margiad was apparently left out in order that W.J. Gruffydd, a Welsh-language author, could be included.

This collection effectively established the canon of eight writers - six male English-language writers (see Part I) plus Kate Roberts and D.J. Williams.

This anthology has no foreword, but that in the 1971 collection is useful here, as it summarises the earlier volumes, and is the source for the comment on Margiad Evans`s omission. Though Gwyn Jones is conscious of the fall in representation of women writers after 1937, he merely says `the genre has tended to be a masculine affair.` He also comments on the lack of a middle class or a creative gentry in Wales. `Both matter and manner in the literature of our two languages have been affected by the incompleteness of our social spectrum.` (This is true, of course, in comparison with the English social structure, but it is interesting to see that he regards the Welsh system as being a defective version of that operating east of Offa`s Dyke, rather than something indigenous to Wales.)

Includes:

E. Tegla Davies (W) Glyn Jones

Rhys Davies Gwyn Jones

Caradoc Evans Alun Lewis

George Ewart Evans Arthur Machen

Sian Evans A. Edward Richards (E/W)

Geraint Goodwin Kate Roberts (W)

W.J. Gruffydd (W) Dylan Thomas

Richard Hughes D.J. Williams (W)

4. VAUGHAN, Aled ed. - Celtic Story: Number One Pendulum Publications Limited, London, 1946 167pp

In his brief introduction Aled Vaughan says: `The stories [in this anthology] are not experimental; it has been the aim ... to give a discerning public a volume of entertaining stories that follow the trend this form of art has taken during the past six years. They are stories for the reader, rather than stories for the writer.` He goes on to say that this particular collection has the benefit of a central theme - `"Celticism", that undefinable quality that makes the work of the true Celtic writer stand out on its own in any collection.`

This was intended to be the first of a series of annual anthologies, but as far as I know, no further volumes came out.

The anthology includes twenty-four writers, six from Scotland, six from Ireland, two from the West Country and ten from Wales. There are no notes on the contributors apart from the country/region they represent, and Wales apart, only Ethel Mannin, Sean O`Faolain and Padraic Fallon are familiar names.

Includes: (Welsh authors only)

Rhys Davies Henry Treece

Hugh V. Gill Cledwyn Hughes

William Glynne-Jones Howell Davies

M.L. Turner Con Morgan

Aled Vaughan Nigel Heseltine

 

5. JONES, Gwyn ed. - Welsh Short Stories O.U.P., 1956 xv,330pp (World`s Classics Series)

This is an expansion of the 1941 volume, adding five writers and dropping three (two of them Welsh-language, thus tipping the selection firmly to the Anglo-Welsh side).

There is a introduction which is more or less a manifesto. Anglo-Welsh short stories begin with Caradoc Evans, whose disruptive influence is acknowledged; he destroyed the older romantic tradition of Allen Raine and company; he proclaimed the independence of the artist; he set the example of a discipline in letters (whatever that meant in this context) and encouraged young Welsh writers while remaining sharply critical. Gwyn Jones then points out the difference between Welsh and Anglo-Welsh short story writers, and clearly sees Welsh speakers as coming from another Wales.

He then lists those he sees as creators and most distinguished practitioners of the Anglo-Welsh short story: Rhys Davies, Caradoc Evans, Geraint Goodwin, Glyn Jones, Gwyn Jones, Alun Lewis, Dylan Thomas and Gwyn Thomas - all, save Caradoc, of one generation, and five of them coming from the mining valleys. Finally he defines some of the characteristics of the Anglo-Welsh short story: colour, passion, humour, a delight in language, clarity rather than Celtic fog.

Includes:

Rhys Davies Alun Lewis

Caradoc Evans Arthur Machen

George Ewart Evans A. Edward Richards (E/W)

Margiad Evans Kate Roberts (W)

Geraint Goodwin Dylan Thomas

Wyn Griffith Gwyn Thomas

Richard Hughes Aled Vaughan

Glyn Jones D.J. Williams (W)

Gwyn Jones Islwyn Williams

6. EVANS, George Ewart ed. - Welsh Short Stories Faber & Faber, 1959 288pp

This is acknowledged in its introduction to be an updating of the 1937 Faber anthology, and shares that edition`s wider range. Evans admits to three aims: a) an entertaining collection; b) an illustration of Wales`s contribution to the development of the short story; c) the maturing of the Welsh short story over the previous thirty years. He defines the Welsh short story in this context - stories by Welshmen in English - but points out the existence of the Welsh-language tradition and notes the three translations he includes - stories by Kate Roberts and D.,J. Williams, `the most outstanding writers of stories in Welsh`, with Islwyn Ffowc Elis to represent the younger generation. He links the short story with the Depression and with the existence of a story-telling tradition, but accepts without question the idea that Welsh writers inevitably chose either `the short story or lyric verse` (or both). This possibly stems from a comment in Gwyn Jones`s 1957 lecture that Anglo-Welsh writers were artists of the `short puff`; in practice even the short story writers in these anthologies have been as active in the novel as in short fiction, but the judgement has persisted, largely unchallenged.

Evans is concerned to show that both language traditions grow from the same seed-bed; he notes the `word music` element in both halves (quoting Thomas Parry`s history of Welsh literature), as well as the satirical element, and points out (via Alun Lewis`s `The Orange Grove`) the way in which a Welsh setting is so often regarded as necessary, though he personally feels the writer him or her self provides the Welshness, not the location of the story.

Includes:

David Alexander Glyn Jones

Glyn Daniel Gwyn Jones

Rhys Davies Alun Lewis

Dorothy Edwards Henry Mansel

Islwyn Ffowc Elis (W) Roland Mathias

Caradoc Evans Kate Roberts (W)

George Ewart Evans Dilys Rowe

William Glynne-Jones Dylan Thomas

Geraint Goodwin Gwyn Thomas

Nigel Heseltine Aled Vaughan

Cledwyn Hughes D.J. Williams

Richard Hughes John Wright

Emyr Humphreys

Link to PART I

Link to PART II