The Withered Root recounts the troubled life of Reuben Daniels, reared in a South Wales industrial valley, in the bosom of the Nonconformist culture. Therein lies his downfall and that of his people, for this novel by Rhys Davies is as thoroughly opposed to Welsh Nonconformity as My People (Caradoc Evans), though for different reasons. Revivalist passions constitute nothing but a perverse outlet for an all too human sexuality which chapel culture has otherwise repressed. Nonconformity has withered the root of natural sexual well-being in the Welsh, and then feeds off the twisted fruits.
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