How Green Was My Valley is a novel by Richard Llewellyn, narrated by Huw Morgan, the main character, about his Welsh family and the mining community in which they live. The author had claimed that he based the book on his own personal. Start by marking “How Green Was My Valley” as Want to Read: A poignant coming-of-age novel set in a Welsh mining town, Richard Llewellyn's How Green Was My Valley is a paean to a more innocent age, published in Penguin Modern Classics. See 2 questions about How Green Was My Valley. "A story of exquisite distinction and vibrant interest; clear and strong as the music under the sky." -- The New York Times Book Review ÒIt took me up and flung.
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How Green Was My Valley and millions of other books are available for instant . Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers. A poignant coming-of-age novel set in a Welsh mining town, Richard Llewellyn's How Green Was My Valley is a paean to a more innocent age. After too many years I eventually read Richard Llewellyn's “How Green Was My Valley“, which tells the story of growing up in a South Wales.
Throughout his life and until his death in , he spun a web of deceit about his background. Unable to attempt a Welsh accent he blamed his clipped English tones on time in the military.
He claimed to be a miner's son born in St David's who worked down the pits at Gilfach Goch, where his novel was set.
In truth he was born in Hendon, London, in , the son of a publican. His first job was washing dishes at Claridges. His knowledge of mining came from a family who ran a Charing Cross Road bookshop in London. The three Griffiths sons would regale Llewellyn with stories of their father's experiences in a Welsh pit.
It was not until How Green Was My Valley made Llewellyn a rich man that he actually spent some time in the country he claimed as his own. He bought a farm in Pembrokeshire but stayed only briefly, spending most of his time at his Claridges' suite, a dishwasher turned VIP guest.
The fact behind the fiction was uncovered by researchers looking for a way to celebrate this year's sixtieth anniversary of the book. Although acclaimed by critics, literary contemporaries and commentators, How Green Was My Valley perplexed mining communities. They did not wholly recognise themselves in what was supposed to be an authentic tale and the sentimentality brought its own controversy.
But they were won over by the novel's enthusiastic reception elsewhere. Now it is clear Llewellyn, who wanted to call the book The Slag, had no more first-hand experience of mining life than the Americans who made the book a bestseller. Daughter Angharad is the most beautiful girl in the valley and is very much in love with Mr. Gruffydd, who isn't sure he can provide her the life she deserves. Times are hard and good men find themselves out of work and exploited by unseen mine owners.
He remembers back to his growing up period, when the dust from the coal mines, which were then new to the area, had not yet darkened the lush green valley.
His father and his five adult brothers worked in the mines, which ended up being a source of conflict, not only between management and laborers, but also within the Morgan family, its individual members who had different views of their role in the mine.
Despite his tender age, Huw immediately fell in love with Bronwyn, who came to the village to marry his eldest brother Ivor.
Also on the love front, his only sister Angharad fell in love with the new preacher, Mr. Gruffydd, who had a slightly different view of his relationship with her, and which would end up destroying his life in the valley.
So she waits for us, and finding us, bears down, and bearing down, makes us a part of her, flesh of our flesh, with our clay in place of the clap we thoughtlessly have shovelled away. Prescient today when we are at last beginning to realise how much we have taken from the earth and how little given back.
But, while the narrator is thinking of the toll taken on the miners underground by the thoughtless drive for profit and cheap coal, those brooding slag heaps remind me more of the dark repayment taken above.
This entry was posted in books , personal and tagged aberfan , Wales by alan.
Bookmark the permalink. The not-all-that-distant graveyard is a very strange view to have from a front window.
I visiting an old friend; he hails from Hampshire originally, but Wales has been his home for a long time… I think I might just get him a copy of that book come his birthday. John Marsden on January 2, at am said: Nice review Alan. I have just finished reading the book and like you found the language wonderful — a lot of it I read out loud, as you would with poetry.
Mari Ruffin on February 22, at am said: Having just finished the book and then reading the synopsis of the movie at one of the sites, I now see where the movie differed from the book in too many ways.