Owen Rhoscomyl

Author(s) John Ellis

Language: English

Genre(s): Biography

Series: Writers of Wales

  • November 2016 · 208 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781783169498
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781783169504
  • · eBook - epub - 9781783169511

About The Book

Around the turn of the century, Welsh readers thrilled to the heroic stories of Owen Rhoscomyl. Having been a cowboy, frontiersman, soldier and mercenary, Rhoscomyl was as adventurous and exotic as his stories. Roving the wilds of the American West, Patagonia and South Africa before finally settling in Wales, Rhoscomyl was a flawed hero who led a rough life that exacted a personal price in poverty, delinquency and violence. He identified deeply with the Welsh nation as a source of tradition, legitimacy and belonging within a wider imperial world. As a popular commercial writer of historical romance, imperial adventure, popular history and public spectacle, he rejected accusations of national inferiority, effeminacy and defeatism in his depictions of the Welsh as an inherently masculine and martial people, accustomed to the rugged conditions of the frontier, ready to advance the glory of their nation and eager to lead the British imperial enterprise. This literary biography will explore the vaulting ambitions, real achievements, and bitter disappointments of the life, work and milieu of Owen Rhoscomyl.


‘This deeply researched and sensitively written study focuses on a remarkable life that spanned three continents. Here was an individual who was at various times a frontiersman, army officer, popular novelist and patriotic historian. His life embraced imperialism and Welsh patriotism, and the author navigates these themes superbly, in the process illuminating neglected features of the past.’
-Professor Paul O’Leary, Aberystwyth University

About the Author(s)

Author(s): John Ellis

John S. Ellis is Professor of History at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Read more


Enjoy 50% off selected titles until 29 February!