Authors: Richard Llewellyn

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Welsh novelist

Author Works

Long Fiction:

How Green Was My Valley, 1939

None but the Lonely Heart, 1943, revised 1969

A Few Flowers for Shiner, 1950

Mr. Hamish Gleave, 1956

Up into the Singing Mountains, 1960

A Man in a Mirror, 1961

And I Shall Sleep . . . Down Where the Moon Is Small, 1966

Sweet Morn of Judas' Day, 1964

The End of the Ring, 1968

Green, Green My Valley Now, 1975

A Night of Bright Stars, 1979


Richard David Vivian Llewellyn Lloyd, who wrote under the name Richard Llewellyn (lew-EHL-ihn), was born in 1906 in that section of Wales which he described so well in his most important novel, How Green Was My Valley. His education, by his own admission, was chaotic, gathered piecemeal in St. David’s, Cardiff, and London. Sent to Italy at the age of sixteen to study the hotel business, he began his apprenticeship in the kitchen. Meanwhile he studied art and sculpture in Venice. While working with an Italian film unit, he began to feel the need for a more solid existence; he was not yet out of his teens when he joined the British army, in which he served five years. During this time he got a taste of world travel, which subsequently became his avocation.{$I[AN]9810000147}{$I[A]Llewellyn, Richard}{$S[A]Lloyd, Richard David Vivian Llewellyn;Llewellyn, Richard}{$I[geo]WALES;Llewellyn, Richard}{$I[tim]1906;Llewellyn, Richard}

Returning to civilian life in 1931, he took a job as a movie extra and then became a writer for a penny film magazine. From these beginnings he rose successively in the motion-picture industry to become assistant director, scenarist, production manager, and finally director. Between periods of making films, he wrote Poison Pen, a melodrama produced in London in 1938; the success of this minor effort started him on his career as a professional writer. His first novel was How Green Was My Valley, the manuscript of which was begun at St. David’s, added to in India, revised in Cardiff, and put into final shape in London. Immensely popular, the novel sold fifty thousand copies in England and twice that number when it was published in the United States the following year. It was filmed in 1941.

During World War II, Llewellyn returned to military life, first as transportation officer in the Entertainment Battalion Services Association, later as a lieutenant in the Welsh Guards. His next novel also showed a change of course; None but the Lonely Heart is the story of a Cockney tough whose mother is blindly devoted to him. After the war Llewellyn divided his time between traveling and writing. He completed a series of novels to follow How Green Was My Valley. In addition to these and Mr. Hamish Gleave, based on the disappearance of Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean behind the Iron Curtain in 1951, he wrote several romantic novels for younger readers as well as other novels of various types that failed to equal the popularity of his earlier works.

BibliographyLindberg, Laurie. “Llewellyn and Giardina: Two Novels About Coal Mining.” Journal of the Appalachian Studies Association 1 (1989): 133-140. Identifies How Green Was My Valley as a regional novel that presents what is universal about the human character and its condition. Ideas explored include growth from innocence to experience, the individual exploited by industrial power, and loss of “Eden.”Price, Derrick. “How Green Was My Valley: A Romance of Wales.” In The Progress of Romance: The Politics of Popular Fiction, edited by Jean Radford. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1986. Price’s chapter describes the novel as a romance that “constructs a myth of Wales in order to displace class antagonisms with an appeal to national unity.”
Categories: Authors