File NLW ex 947. - Idris Davies Papers,

Identity area

Reference code

NLW ex 947.


Idris Davies Papers,


  • 1932-1992. (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 box.

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Idris Davies (1905-1953), poet and schoolteacher, was born in a Welsh-speaking household and community in Rhymney, Monmouthshire, but spent much of his life living and working in London. It was, however, the industrial landscape of the South Wales valleys which was to have the greatest influence on his work, in which Davies frequently denounces the grimness and desolation of the surroundings while also reflecting the idealism and protest of its people during a time of great economic, social and religious change. His first volume of poetry, Gwalia Deserta (London, 1938), written at Rhymney, took as its theme the South Wales valleys during the Depression years of the 1930s. The Angry Summer, written at Meesden in Hertfordshire and published in 1943, is considered to be Davies's finest poem. Tonypandy and Other Poems (London, 1945) was completed while Davies was teaching in Treherbert in the Rhondda valley. In 1947 Davies returned as schoolmaster to his native Rhynmney, where he continued to write, broadcast and lecture. Selected Poems (London, 1953), the last volume to be produced during Davies's lifetime, was published less than a month before the poet's death in April 1953. Some of Davies's later material appeared posthumously in The Collected Poems of Idris Davies (Llandysul, 1972).

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The Rev. Islwyn Jenkins & Mr Eben Morris, Davies's cousin and brother-in-law respectively; Carmarthen and Rhymney; Donation (with NLW MSS 22397-415); 1987

Dr Jean Jenkins (widow of the Rev. Islwyn Jenkins); Carmarthen; Donation (with NLW MS 23539D); October 1996; A1996/121.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Papers of the poet Idris Davies (1905-53) of Rhymney, including newspaper cuttings, some concerning him and his work; college notebooks, academic essays and a dissertation; letters to Idris Davies from children of Cwmsyfiog school, 1953, and letters concerning him and his work, 1954-77; together with additional papers, 1932-1992, including research notes compiled, 1954-1955, by his cousin and biographer the Rev. Islwyn Jenkins, Carmarthen, two photographs of Idris Davies, manuscript and typescript addresses and scripts concerning him, musical settings of his poems, programmes and leaflets.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Usual copyright laws apply.

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Notes area


Preferred citation: NLW ex 947.

Alternative identifier(s)

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru = The National Library of Wales

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Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English



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  • Text: NLW ex 947.