- 1943-1990 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
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).
Name of creator
Purchased (together with NLW ex 2921) by Chris Prince from Morfydd Peregrine's niece.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Mr Chris Prince; Hay-on-Wye; Purchase (with NLW ex 2921); November 2015; 99632234302419.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Papers, 1943-1990, accumulated by Morfydd Peregrine, relating to her fiancée the poet Idris Davies, comprising Davies's diary, 16 October-15 December 1946 (ff. 1-16); four holograph poems, 1943-1952 (ff. 17-20), with a further two in Peregrine's hand, 1951 (ff. 21-22); and newspaper cuttings, 1943-1990, relating to Davies, consisting of poetry (ff. 24-26, 29-34, 43, 45) and reviews, obituaries and articles (ff. 23, 27-28, 35-42, 44).
The holograph poems are 'In Treorchy Cemetery', 21 December 1943 (published as 'David Allen Evans, R.A.F.' in Tonypandy and Other Poems (London, 1945), p. 38), 'Poem for Morfydd', Christmas 1943 (apparently unpublished), 'Rhymney Hill (January 1952)' (reproduced in facsimile in Islwyn Jenkins, Idris Davies of Rhymney (Llandysul, 1986), p. 227) and 'The Choice',  (apparently unpublished). The poems copied by Peregrine are a version of 'Bedwellty Church' omitting the third verse (first published in the Western Mail, 5 March 1948) and 'Brecknockshire' (see The Complete Poems of Idris Davies, ed. by Dafydd Johnston (Cardiff, 1994), C109). Also included is a photograph of Davies and Peregrine (f. 19), as reproduced in the Western Mail, 12 February 1987 (see f. 41); and printed items to accompany the publication of the memorial volume Fe'm Ganed i yn Rhymni / I Was Born in Rhymney (Llandysul, 1990) (ff. 46-51).
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Arranged at NLW as follows: diary; manuscript poetry; cuttings; ephemera.
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. Information regarding ownership of Idris Davies copyright can be found at http://tyler.hrc.utexas.edu/ (viewed March 2016).
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
English, some Welsh.
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Diary covers worn; f. 18 torn.
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Title based on contents.
Alma system control number
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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.