Portraits of Famous Welsh Writers: Kate Roberts
The art historian, Peter Lord, refers to the custom among the Victorian and Edwardian Welsh of decorating their homes with portraits of the hoelion mawr: literally, the ‘big nails’ of the Nonconformist movement whose preaching had earned them a kind of celebrity status. This series considers seminal portraits and photographs of some of the greatest Welsh writers of the Twentieth Century.
Ferociously talented, politically engaged, and morally committed, Kate Roberts wrote short stories, novels and autobiography commemorating the Welsh-speaking culture of the hills above Caernarfon during the slate-quarrying years, the poverty of the South Wales Valleys during the Great Depression, and the growing affluence and self-satisfaction of Denbighshire during the post-war years. This website contains an essay discussing her short-story craft, and a translation of an interview she gave to Saunders Lewis, in which she makes no apologies for the seriousness of her work.
Kate Roberts refused to have a television, claiming that there was nothing worth watching, but when staying with friends, she spent long periods glued to the set. In this photograph, captured during the 1970s, we find her entranced by an early episode of the soap opera, Pobol y Cwm.
Pugnacious Little Trolls
‘freely and fiercely inventive short stories… supercharged with ideas.’
Jon Gower, Nation Cymru
Prayer at the End: Twenty-Three Stories
‘heaving with loss, regret and familial bonds.’
For His Warriors: Thirty Stories
‘sketched with a depth and sureness of touch which makes them memorable and haunting.’
Caroline Clark, gwales.com
Reasoning: Twenty Stories
‘dark, complex, pensively eloquent’
Sophie Baggott, New Welsh Review
The Sleeping Bard: Three Nightmare Visions of the World, of Death, and of Hell
Translated by T. Gwynn Jones, with an introduction by Rob Mimpriss.
A Book of Three Birds
‘Lucid, skilful, and above all, of enormous timely significance.’
‘In this exemplary collaboration between medical science and imagination, lives preserved in official records, in the language and diagnoses of their times, are restored not just to light, but to humanity and equality. This anthology is a resurrection.’
Hallowe’en in the Cwm: The Stories of Owen Wynne Jones
‘An invaluable translation.’
Going South: The Stories of Richard Hughes Williams
Translated by Rob Mimpriss, with an introduction by E. Morgan Humphreys