Anglo-Welsh literatureAnglo-Welsh literature
is a term used to describe works written in the English language
by Welsh writers, especially if they either have subject matter relating to Wales
or (as in the case of Anglo-Welsh poetry
in particular) are influenced by the Welsh language
in terms of patterns of usage or syntax. It has been recognised as a distinctive entity only since the 20th century
. The need for a separate identity for this kind of writing arose because of the parallel development of modern Welsh literature
, ie. literature in the Welsh language. Many distinguished literary figures, such as Saunders Lewis
, have written in both languages.
The best known Anglo-Welsh poet is Dylan Thomas, followed by Ronald Stuart Thomas. Poets such as Robert Graves can be regarded as Anglo-Welsh, insofar as they write about or in Wales, even though they may not have Welsh blood.
Anglo-Welsh novelists include Richard Llewellyn and Jack Jones. Their usage of language marks them out from writers of "standard" English, as demonstrated in the following extracts:
My father moved his head, and I looked down at him, sideways to me, and tried to think what I could do to ease him, only for him to have a breath.
A Shoni-Onion Breton man, with a beret and a necklace of onions, bicycled down the road and stopped at the door.
"Quelle un grand matin, monsieur," I said.
"There's French, boy bach!" he said.
- (from How Green was my Valley by Richard Llewellyn)
Her sweetheart was a bank clerk from Henblas who used to cycle to Rhydfelen every Sunday afternoon to have tea with her. His name was Gareth Vaughan, and he was hard-working, religious, and bound, people said, to get on. His father, working at the same bank, had got on, so that he was under-manager when he died, and had left his widow with a house and a good annuity.
- (from The Outing by Dylan Thomas)
My being has never edged more than a few inscrutable inches from the kitchen of the house where I lived as a boy, a teeming and tempestuous place, cocoon of myths and spinning absurdities. From its seemingly always open door we had a mountain in full view.
- (from A Small Country (1979) by Sian James)
- (from A Few Selected Exits (1968) by Gwyn Thomas)