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Caradoc Evans (David Caradoc Evans) Biography

(1878–1945), (David Caradoc Evans), T. P.'s Weekly, English Review, My People, Capel Sion

people stories story wales

Welsh short-story writer and novelist, born in Llanfihangel-ar-Arth, Carmarthenshire, though associated with Rhydlewis, the Cardiganshire village where his mother worked a nine-acre smallholding. At 14 he became a draper's assistant. Following evening classes at the Workingmen's College, he began a career as a journalist which culminated in T. P.'s Weekly, which he and Con O'Leary co-edited, with Austin Clarke as colleague. His stories in the English Review, collected in My People (1915), established him as a satirist of compelling originality. Fifteen pareddown stories exploded the myth of pastoral Wales, in a manner recalling fellow Celts, George Douglas Brown and J. M. Synge. In Wales his audacious treatment of local community influenced Dylan Thomas and other writers, for whom My People became the founding text of modern Anglo-Welsh literature. Capel Sion (1916) and My Neighbours (1920) continued the savage dissection. Controversy clung to Evans as theatre riots disrupted performances of his one play, Taffy (pub. 1924). His first novel, Nothing to Pay (1930), a Swiftian fable of money worship, charted the progress of its miserly anti-hero through the drapery underworld at the turn of the century. His later works include the novella Morgan Bible (1943), and the short story collections Pilgrims in a Foreign Land (1942) and The Earth Gives All and Takes All (1946). Reprints of My People (1987) and Nothing to Pay (1989) have been edited by John Harris, who has also compiled Fury Never Leaves Us: A Miscellany of Caradoc Evans (1985).

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