File NLW MS 24075D - Morfydd Peregrine (Idris Davies) papers

Identity area

Reference code

NLW MS 24075D


Morfydd Peregrine (Idris Davies) papers


  • 1943-1990 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

51 ff.

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).

Name of creator

Biographical history

Archival history

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', [1952] (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 (viewed March 2016).

Language of material

  • English
  • Welsh

Script of material

Language and script notes

English, some Welsh.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Diary covers worn; f. 18 torn.

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For Peregrine's inscribed copies of Davies's printed works see NLW ex 2921; see also NLW, Idris Davies manuscripts, NLW MSS 20770-1E and NLW ex 947.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents.

Alternative identifier(s)

Alma system control number


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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

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

March 2016


  • English



Archivist's note

Description compiled by Rhys Morgan Jones.

Accession area

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Physical storage

  • Text: NLW MS 24075D