The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

Promoting the language, literature, arts and science of Wales

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home > Transactions > Volume 19 - 2013 > Rediscovering Ellen Evans (1891–1953), Principal of Glamorgan Training College, Barry

Rediscovering Ellen Evans (1891–1953), Principal of Glamorgan Training College, Barry

During the last thirty years, thanks to the work of historians, publishers, broadcasters, and others, the contribution of women in the history of Wales is, slowly, being acknowledged. Although Welsh historiography needs to move beyond the stage of ‘uncovering’ the lives of ‘forgotten’ women to a more nuanced understanding of gender relationships, the fact remains that many women who were well-known during their lives for their contribution to Welsh national life are absent from the historical record. Thus, ‘rediscovering’ these women is still a valid activity.1

A case in point is Ellen Evans (1891–1953), a prominent gure in educational and cultural circles in Wales in the inter-war and immediate post-war years. Her standing is such that she gained an entry in the Welsh Dictionary of National Biography and her name is included in the National Library of Wales online database.2 Her contribution to the debate surrounding the teaching of Welsh in elementary and secondary schools has been recognised by historians of the Welsh language and culture.3 However, the breadth of her interests and involvement in public life has not yet been explored and little is known of her private persona. She is, therefore, a strong contender for ‘rediscovery’. The aim of this article is to begin that process. The timing is apt since it is the sixtieth anniversary of her death at the time of writing (2013).


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