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This report is taken from PN Review 245, Volume 45 Number 3, January - February 2019.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
A few months ago I received through the post a remarkable photograph, which I believe has not been widely published, as it certainly deserves to be. It is a fine black and white print of three iconic figures in the cultural life of Wales, R.S. Thomas, Kyffin Williams and Emyr Humphreys, and was taken at least eighteen years ago, for R.S. died in September 2000. The photographer was fortunate, or had planned with exceptional care, to get them together, etched with great clarity against a pale, plain background. All three are formally attired and peer seriously, or questioningly, at the lens; the occasion might have required a sober response to the photographer’s request. R.S. came originally from Cardiff, but in later years settled in north Wales, the other two were born there. Their conversation would have been in Welsh. They belong to an earlier generation, one which witnessed in their own lifetimes enormous changes in the working life, customs and beliefs of the people of Wales. R.S. was born in 1913; Kyffin Williams, who died in 2006, in 1918. Emyr Humphreys, born 1919, will be one hundred years old in April next year. All three dedicated their creative lives to Wales. Roland Mathias – who died in 2007, just short of his ninety-second birthday, lived through the same often devastating transformations and was equally imbued with devotion to the same cause – would have been a wonderful addition to the group.

Emyr Humphreys by M. Wynn Thomas, a new addition to the ‘Writers of Wales’ series, has ...


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