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All That Is Wales

The Collected Essays of M. Wynn Thomas

Author(s): M. Wynn Thomas

Language: English

Genre(s): Politics Literary Criticism Welsh Interest

Series: Writing Wales in English

May 2017320 pages216x138mm

Hardback - 9781786830883 Paperback - 9781786830890 eBook - epub - 9781786830913 eBook - mobi - 9781786830920 eBook - pdf - 9781786830906

About The Book

Wales may be small, but culturally it is richly varied. The aim in this collection of essays on a number of English-language authors from Wales is to offer a sample of the country’s internal diversity. To that end, the author’s examined range – from the exotic Lynette Roberts (Argentinean by birth, but of Welsh descent) and the English-born Peggy Ann Whistler who opted for new, Welsh identity as ‘Margiad Evans’, to Nigel Heseltine, whose bizarre stories of the antics of the decaying squierarchy of the Welsh border country remain largely unknown, and the Utah-based poet Leslie Norris, who brings out the bicultural character of Wales in his Welsh-English translations. The result is a portrait of Wales as a ‘micro-cosmopolitan country’, and the volume is prefaced with an autobiographical essay by one of the leading specialists in the field, authoritatively tracing the steady growth over recent decades of serious, informed and sustained study of what is a major achievement of Welsh culture.


‘In a characteristically generous and discerning collection of essays, M. Wynn Thomas ranges widely through Welsh writing in English, displaying in the process his marvellous command of language. This is criticism at its best, as sociable as it is perceptive.’

- Catherine Belsey, Professor Emeritus in English, Swansea University

‘M. Wynn Thomas is more than just Wales’s finest and most perceptive critic – he is one of the rare intellectuals who can be said to have founded a discipline, and nurtured it for others. All That Is Wales bears the hallmarks of Thomas’s criticism – rigorously-written, closely-read and culturally-alive.’

- Patrick McGuinness, Professor of French and Comparative Literature, University of Oxford


1 The Scarlet Woman: Lynette Roberts
2 Margiad Evans and Eudora Welty: a confluence of imaginations
3 ‘A Grand Harlequinade’: the border writing of Nigel Heseltine
4 ‘There’s words’: Dylan Thomas, Swansea and Language
5 ‘A vast assemblage of unease’: Emyr Humphreys’s A Man’s Estate
6 Outside the House of Baal: the evolution of a major novel
7 ‘Yr Hen Fam’: R. S. Thomas and the Church in Wales
8 R. S. Thomas, ‘Retired Christian’
9 Vernon Watkins, Taliesin in Gower
10 ‘Dubious Affinities’: Leslie Norris’s Welsh-English translations
11 Staying to mind things; Gillian Clarke’s early poetry

About the Author(s)

M. Wynn Thomas

M. Wynn Thomas is Professor of English and Emyr Humphreys Professor of English at Swansea University; he is a Fellow of the British Academy and the author of twenty books on the two literatures of Wales and on American poetry.

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