ESSAY David Hughes

NWR Issue 114

Memoir of Dylan Thomas



I met Dylan first when I was asked to look after his wife who was expecting her first baby – they had just come to Laugharne from the Chelsea set in London & it must have been about 1937–1938 – from conversation with her, a flashingly attractive Titian-blonde who obviously had led a rather fast life, & meeting him – the two did not seem to add up –

They lived in a big rambling 3 storied house – unfurnished except for a large wooden double bed – in a room on the ground floor – & a living room which was conspicuous in the absence of any conventional furniture – the predominant furnishings were large packing cases which served as tables or chairs, & the biggest was Dylan’s desk on which was

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a beer bottle with a half burned candle – & scattered manuscripts which spilled onto the floor & spread themselves higgledy piggledy all around.

My impression was ‘snooty’ disdainful to say the least – this was obviously an eccentric trying to be somebody. A boring man puffed up with a wrong idea of his potential & capability & trying to ape in his background & beginnings the great men of letters & music that had gone before –
Dylan to me then was shy & self effacing before his family Dr & I had little opportunity of talking & getting to know him – but I took a poor or apologetic view of this eccentric Chelsea behaviour in Laugharne –


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