David Collard

Chekhov in the Rhondda

Rhys Davies: A Writer’s Life


Parthian 354pp £20) order from our bookshop

At first glance Rhys Davies (1901–78) is not a promising subject for a biography. For most of his working life he supported himself exclusively by his pen, without recourse to journalism, broadcasting, teaching or any kind of hack work. Such a career was hazardous at the time and would be almost inconceivable today. Indifferent to fame, he was hard-working and prolific – producing more than a hundred short stories, twenty novels, three novellas, two topographical studies of Wales, two plays and an unreliable autobiography entitled Print of a Hare’s Foot which Cyril Connolly, writing in The Sunday Times in 1969, described as ‘a chronicle of a completely uneventful life without strong ties or affections’. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter