Rhys Davies: A Writer’s Life

(2013) | Meic Stephens

This is the first full biography of an important Welsh writer and a milestone in Welsh biographical writing. Drawing on hitherto unavailable sources, including many conversations with the writer’s brother, it provides a perspective in which his very real achievement can be more easily appreciated.

Meic Stephens describes the writer’s early years as the Blaenclydach grocer’s son, his abhorrence of ‘chapel culture’, his bohemian years in Fitzrovia, his visit to the Lawrences in the south of France, his unremitting work ethic, his patrons, his admiration for the French and Russian writers who were his models, his love-hate relationship with the Rhondda, and above all, the dissembling that went into Print of a Hare’s Foot (1969), ‘an autobiographical beginning’, which he shows to be a most unreliable book from start to finish.