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Richard Llewellyn Biography

(1907–83), Poison Pen, How Green Was My Valley, Up, Into the Singing Mountain

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Lights of Bohemia to Love in Livery

Welsh novelist and dramatist, born in St David's, educated in Cardiff and London. During the 1930s he worked in the film industry, but a slump forced him to turn to drama, resulting in the popular psychological thriller Poison Pen (1937). After war service he lived abroad, mainly in North America and Argentina. His first novel, How Green Was My Valley (1939), was a bestseller which charted the rise of the ambitious Huw Morgan in a Welsh mining community and is renowned for its lyrical evocation of family life in the Welsh valleys. It was made into a Hollywood film. Its sequels are Up, Into the Singing Mountain (1960), Down Where the Moon is Small (1966), and Green, Green My Valley Now (1975). His novels about Cockney low life in the London slums, None But the Lonely Heart (1943) and A Few Flowers for Shiner (1950), were less successful. Among other works he wrote spy novels, and A Night of Bright Stars (1979), a novel set in fin de siècle Paris.

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