Humphreys, Emyr

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Humphreys, Emyr

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Emyr Humphreys (1919-), one of Wales' most significant writers and cultural activists, was born in Prestatyn and brought up in Trelawnyd, both Flintshire. He was educated at UCW, Aberystwyth, where he studied history, learnt Welsh, and where he became a Welsh nationalist. He had registered as a conscientious objector in 1939, and was sent to work in Pembrokeshire during the Second World War. Later in 1944 he was sent as a war relief worker to the Middle East and then to Italy until 1946, where he was an officer with the Save the Children Fund. He married in 1946, the daughter of a Congregational minister. He became a teacher, and taught at Wimbledon Technical College until 1951, and then at Pwllheli Grammar School. He worked for the BBC as Drama Producer from 1955 until 1965, when he became a lecturer in drama at the University College of North Wales, Bangor. In 1972, he left to become a full-time writer. He has won numerous prizes, including the Somerset Maugham Award in 1952 for his novel Hear and Forgive, and The Hawthornden Prize in 1958 for A Toy Epic, and has published articles in Planet and the Welsh Internationalist. He has published over twenty novels, including The Little Kingdom (1946), The Voice of a Stranger (1949), A Toy Epic (1958), The Anchor Tree (1980), A Change of Heart (1951), Hear and Forgive (1952), A Man's Estate (1955), The Italian Wife (1957), Outside the House of Baal (1965), National Winner (1971), Flesh and Blood (1974), The Best of Friends (1978), Salt of the Earth (1985), An Absolute Hero (1986), Open Secrets (1988), Bonds of Attachment (1991), The Gift (1973), Jones (1984), Unconditional Surrender (1996), The Gift of a Daughter (1998), Ghosts and Strangers (2001), Old People are a Problem (2003), and The Shop; a collection of short stories, Natives (1968), and four volumes of verse, Ancestor Worship (1970), Landscapes (1976), The Kingdom of Brân (1979), Pwyll a Rhiannon (1980). His book Emyr Humphreys: Conversation and Reflections (2004), bring his uncollected writings together.

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