- 1957-1958 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Placed in melinex sleeves within ringed box at NLW.
Name of creator
George Ewart Evans was born in 1909, in the mining town of Abercynon, South Wales, the son of a grocer, William Evans, and his second wife, Janet. He attended Mountain Ash County School from 1921 to 1927, and University College, Cardiff, between 1927 and 1931, obtaining an honours degree in Classics and a teaching certificate. He was athletic, distinguishing himself on the rugby field, and while he was at university he sprinted professionally to ease the financial situation of his family. Shortly after this time he began to write, winning a prize for his first published work, a translation of Catullus, in the Sunday Referee in 1934. In the same year he obtained a post teaching athletics at Sawston Village College, an experimental school in Cambridgeshire, which combined the traditional syllabus with subjects of a more vocational nature. That was where he met his future wife, Florence Ellen Knappet and they married in 1938. They had four children, Jane, Susan, Mary, and Matthew, who later pursued a distinguished career with the publishing company of Faber and Faber. During the Second World War George Ewart Evans served in the RAF, but he continued to write, mainly poetry and short stories, some of which were republished in the collection entitled Let Dogs Delight (London: Faber and Faber, 1975). At that time he experienced several personal crises, including the death of his father, the loss at sea of his brother, Roy, in 1942, and the discovery that he himself was suffering from increasing deafness. His next work, based on his own childhood in the South Wales valleys, was The Voices of the Children, written in 1943-1944 and published by the Penmark Press in 1947. After the war financial pressures compelled the family to leave Sawston, and Evans took up a teaching post in Edmonton, London. Three years later, in 1948, his wife was appointed village schoolmistress at Blaxhall in Suffolk, a flat arable region which contrasted greatly with the hills and industrial valleys of his native Wales. He found that the people differed in their attitudes too, but through conversing with his neighbours he developed an interest in their dialect and the aspects of rural life which they described. They were almost all agricultural labourers, born before the turn of the century, who had worked on farms prior to the arrival of mechanisation, and who spoke a language rich in words and expressions previously only known to him from reading old English poetry. He began, with the assistance of a tape-recorder, to collect oral evidence of the dialect, rural customs, traditions and folklore, first in Blaxhall, and continuing from his later homes in Needham Market, Helmingham, and Brooke, near Norwich. This work, reinforced by careful research of documentary, historical and literary sources, provided the background for his East Anglian books. The tape recordings also formed the basis of radio scripts for features broadcast on the BBC Third Programme, in association with such producers as David Thomson and Charles Parker. George Ewart Evans was engaged in editing, reviewing and extensive teaching activities in addition to his writing. He was a tutor for the Extra-mural Department of the University of Cambridge and the Workers' Educational Association in East Anglia, and he was much in demand as a lecturer for conferences and educational courses. His contribution to oral history and education was acknowledged by the universities of Essex and Keele, both of which awarded him honorary doctorates in 1982. He died in January 1988.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Barry Cassidy Rare Books; Sacramento, California; Purchase; July 2009; 004685271.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Twenty-two letters, 1957-1958, to George Ewart Evans as editor of the revised edition of Welsh Short Stories (London, 1959), from authors or their representatives, relating to prospective stories for the volume.
The authors include Glyn Daniel, 10 July 1957, [1957x1958] (ff. 1-2), Rhys Davies, May-July 1957 (ff. 4-5), Islwyn Ffowc Elis, May-June 1957 (ff. 6-7), Nigel Heseltine, 11 April 1958 (f. 8), Emyr Humphreys, 13 January 1958 (f. 10), Glyn [Jones], 3 January 1958 (ff. 11-12), Gwyn Jones, May-July 1957 (ff. 13-14), Roland Mathias, 1 July 1957 (f. 16), Idris Parry, 18 May 1957 (f. 18), Alun Richards, 19 January 1958 (f. 19), and Aled Vaughan, 11 June [?1958] (f. 22). There are also letters from David Higham, 9 July 1958, representing Margiad Evans (f. 9), Gweno Lewis, [1957x1958], widow of Alun Lewis (f. 15), and Paul Scott, March-April 1958, representing Cledwyn Hughes (ff. 20-21).
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Arranged alphabetically by author at NLW.
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 set out in information provided when applying for their Readers' Tickets, whereby the reader shall become responsible for compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 in relation to any processing by them of personal data obtained from modern records held at the Library.
Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents.
Preferred citation: NLW MS 23998D.
Virtua system control number
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Evans, George Ewart -- Correspondence. (Subject)
- Evans, Margiad, 1909-1958. (Subject)
- Daniel, Glyn Edmund. (Subject)
- Elis, Islwyn Ffowc (Subject)
- Heseltine, Nigel. (Subject)
- Humphreys, Emyr. (Subject)
- Jones, Glyn, 1905-1995. (Subject)
- Jones, Gwyn, 1907-1999. (Subject)
- Mathias, Roland. (Subject)
- Parry, Idris. (Subject)
- Richards, Alun, 1929- (Subject)
- Vaughan, Aled, 1920-1989. (Subject)
- Higham, David. (Subject)
- Lewis, Gweno (Subject)
- Scott, Paul, 1920-1978. (Subject)
- Hughes, Cledwyn, 1920-1978 (Subject)
- Davies, Rhys, 1901-1978 (Subject)
- Lewis, Alun, 1915-1944 (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
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
Description compiled by Rhys Morgan Jones;