File NLW MS 23765E. - Glyn Jones's 'Seven Keys to Shaderdom',

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 23765E.


Glyn Jones's 'Seven Keys to Shaderdom',


  • [1970s]-[1995] / (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

i, 279 ff.Guarded and filed at NLW.Some folios damaged, and repaired at NLW.Some folios damaged, and repaired at NLW

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Morgan Glyndwr Jones was a poet, novelist and writer of short stories. He was also the author of prose works, a radio broadcaster, translator of Welsh literature, librettist, and contributed a number of articles and reviews to various books and journals.

Glyn Jones was born in Merthyr Tydfil in 1905, the second son of William Henry Jones, a Post Office clerk, and Margaret Williams, who was a teacher in Merthyr prior to her marriage and during World War I. The language of the home was Welsh, although both Glyn and his elder brother David Tydfilyn were educated through the medium of English. Nevertheless, Glyn Jones was evidently proud of his Welsh roots and eventually fluent in the language. He attended the Castle Grammar School in Merthyr and St Paul's College, Cheltenham, where he completed a teachers' training course. In 1935 he married Phyllis Doreen Jones.

Glyn Jones held teaching posts in Cardiff, Bridgend and Caerphilly, the first being Wood Street School, located in a slum area of Cardiff, which had a profound effect on him. In 1942, he was registered as a conscientious objector on humanitarian and Christian grounds and, in accordance with the policy of the Cardiff Education Authority who refused to employ conscientious objectors, he was dismissed from his teaching post. In 1944, he took up a post at Twyn School in Caerphilly, and later, in 1952, moved to Glantaf County School in Cardiff, where he retired as Head of the English Department in 1965.

Glyn Jones became interested in English romantic poetry whilst at grammar school and during subsequent years admired and was influenced by poets such as D. H. Lawrence, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Dylan Thomas. His first poems appeared in The Dublin Magazine in 1931 under the pseudonym M. G. J. Gower, and his first collection of poetry was published in 1939. A collection of short stories, The blue bed was published in 1937 to critical acclaim, and the first of his three novels, The valley, the city, the village, appeared in 1956.

During the 1930s he met a number of Anglo-Welsh writers including Idris Davies, Caradoc Evans, Gwyn Jones, Jack Jones, Keidrych Rhys and Dylan Thomas. A memoir of literary life in Wales during this period was published in 1982 entitled Setting Out. In 1968 one of his best known works, The dragon has two tongues : essays on Anglo-Welsh writers and writing, was published, and the book was awarded a Welsh Arts Council prize in 1969. He also co-wrote, with John Rowlands, a volume of essays profiling Welsh writers in both English and Welsh published in 1980.

Glyn Jones began broadcasting on radio in 1946 and introduced various programmes, reviewed books and translated works for radio over a number of years. In addition he wrote the libretto for The beach of Falesá, with music by Alun Hoddinott, which was performed by Welsh National Opera in 1974.

Glyn Jones was the first Chairman of Yr Academi Gymreig (English Language Section) and later its President, and he became the first honorary member of the Academi in 1985. Several awards were bestowed upon him during his lifetime. He was honoured by the Welsh Arts Council in 1971 for his contribution to the literature of Wales, and made an honorary member of the Gorsedd of Bards of the Isle of Britain (Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain), 1988. He also received an honorary degree of D.Litt. from the University of Wales, 1974, and an Honorary Fellowship of Trinity College, Carmarthen, 1993. He died in 1995.

Archival history

The drafts were given to Meic Stephens by Glyn Jones a few months before the latter's death.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Mr Meic Stephens; Cardiff; Purchase; February 1999; B1999/4.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Manuscript and typescript drafts, [1970s]-[1995], by Glyn Jones of his unfinished poem 'Seven Keys to Shaderdom', on which the version published in The Collected Poems of Glyn Jones, ed. by Meic Stephens (Cardiff, 1996), pp. 111-131, was based.
The published poem consists of seven sections with a prose Prologue, represented in the manuscript by multiple drafts (ff. 1-202, 208-224). Section I was previously published as 'Shader's Vision' in Poetry Wales 19.3 (1984), 51-2, the Prologue and Sections I-III appeared as 'Prologue and Three Fragments' in Glyn Jones, Selected Poems, Fragments and Fictions (Ogmore-by-Sea, 1988), pp. 133-144, and Section V was published in Poetry Wales 28.2 (October 1992), 18-19. The manuscript also includes other material including drafts and fragments of other poems, notes, images and completed lines (ff. 203-207, 225-279). Some leaves re-use miscellaneous letters, newsletters, television drama scripts and other papers. A self-portrait sketch in ink by Jones is on f. i verso.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Readers consulting modern papers in the National Library of Wales are required to abide by the conditions noted on the 'Modern papers - data protection' form issued with their Readers' Tickets.

Conditions governing reproduction

Usual copyright laws apply. Information regarding ownership of Glyn Jones copyright can be found at (viewed June 2010)

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, some Welsh.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies


Related units of description

For other literary papers of Glyn Jones, see NLW, Glyn Jones Papers and the currently uncatalogued NLW MSS 20705-18, 20744C, 20777C.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents.


Preferred citation: NLW MS 23765E.

Alternative identifier(s)

Virtua system control number


GEAC system control number


Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

Rules and/or conventions used

Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

June 2010.


  • English



Archivist's note

Description revised by Rhys Morgan Jones;

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MS 23765E; $q - Some folios damaged, and repaired at NLW.