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Cordell, Alexander

wales political set time

(British, 1914–97)

Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Cordell became a civil surveyor in Wales in 1936 and wrote full-time from 1963 on. Begin with Rape of the Fair Country (1959), which opens his trilogy of historical novels flamboyantly depicting social and political struggle in nineteenth-century Wales. Set among the iron-workers of Monmouthshire, the book culminates in the Chartist riots. The trilogy continues with The Hosts of Rebecca (1960), dealing with the anarchic resistance in rural Wales in the 1840s to the encroachments of centralized political power. Song of the Earth (1960), the final part, concerns the changes wrought by Brunel's extensions of the railways into the mining valleys of South Wales. Cordell's other works include The Bright Cantonese (1967), a spy thriller set in China and America at a time of imminent nuclear conflict between the two nations.

R. F. Delderfield, Winston Graham, Richard Llewellyn  DH

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