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This report is taken from PN Review 240, Volume 44 Number 4, March - April 2018.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
I cannot deny I spend a lot of time nostalgically looking back. It is, all things considered, a pleasant infirmity of age. I have thought a great deal recently of Roland Mathias’s skill and judgement, and values system, as a reviewer – and of course of the clarity and trenchancy of his prose thus employed. In his time as editor, the quarterly Anglo-Welsh Review grew in size and importance as the journal of record for all creative and scholarly work from and about Wales. Roland’s ambition in this direction was boundless. He played the magazine like an accordion, expanding it to accommodate all he wanted to stuff in. My first article on Thomas Jeffery Llywelyn Prichard, written at his suggestion, occupied forty pages of AWR No. 52, some fifteen thousand words, but didn’t appear disproportionate in an issue that ran to two hundred and sixty-six pages.

The reviews section in that same number extended over a hundred pages. Roland took the word ‘review’ in the magazine’s title seriously. Reviews commonly filled almost half of the elastic allocation of pages, and to serve this policy he recruited reviewers far and wide. He was himself, however, by far his most frequent contributor. I once took the trouble to turn the pages in number after number and count the reviews that appeared over his name: one hundred and twenty-four, the majority lengthy, all deeply considered. (I did not bother to add the shorter, though never cursory, notes on other magazines, tracts, pamphlets, spoken word recordings.) While he was editor, no ...


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