David Collard

Chekhov in the Rhondda

Rhys Davies: A Writer’s Life

By

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

  • Last Tweets

    • 'One of the reasons for its longevity is that it has virtually nothing to say about science and technology at all,… ,
    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,