The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion

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home > Transactions > Volume 27 - 2021 > THE SILK GOWN AND THE SCAR: THE LIFE AND WORKS OF ELENA PUW MORGAN (1900-73)

THE SILK GOWN AND THE SCAR: THE LIFE AND WORKS OF ELENA PUW MORGAN (1900-73)

The following article explores the life, works and legacy of the novelist Elena Puw Morgan, 1900-1973, the first woman to win the Literary Medal at the National Eisteddfod of Wales but a little-known figure outside Welsh literary circles. An author of prose fiction novels for adults and children, she is best known for her three novels for adults: Nansi Lovell (1933), Y Wisg Sidan [The Silk Gown] (1939) and Y Graith [The Scar] (1943). All three novels have a female protagonist and they all deal with complex and challenging themes, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse, the burdens of care, and the effects of social and economic change. Despite the importance of Morgan’s works they have been largely neglected in studies of Welsh literature of her period, and this article explores complex, interrelated reasons for this startling lack of posterity.

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