REVIEW by Harri Roberts

NWR Issue 105

Rhys Davies: A Writer's Life

by Meic Stephens

As his biographer points out, Rhys Davies (1901–78) has been a much-neglected writer. Prior to 1996, for instance, the only example of his work still in print was one modest short story collection. The years since have been kinder, with the three-volume publication of Davies’ Collected Stories (1996–98) making his vast oeuvre of short stories available again to readers. Interest in the writer has also been stimulated by a new edition of Print of a Hare’s Foot in 1998, his notoriously unreliable ‘autobiography’, and his debut novel, The Withered Root (2007). There has also been a landmark collection of critical essays, Decoding the Hare (2001), also edited by Meic Stephens.

Nevertheless, when one considers Davies’ literary achievement in terms of quality and output, he deserves to be much better known. Davies was one of those rare creatures in Welsh literature, a full-time professional writer. During his life, he published some twenty novels, three novellas and one hundred stories, not to mention two plays, two Welsh travelogues and Print of a Hare’s Foot (1969)...

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