James A. Davies was born in Llandeilo, Dyfed. He was educated at the University College of Swansea. He has a First Class Honours degree in English and a University of Wales Ph.D.
Dr. Davies has published John Forster: A Literary Life (1983), Dylan Thomas's Places (1988), The Textual Life of Dickens's Characters (1989), numerous articles and reviews on Victorian literature and Anglo-Welsh literature, and has edited The View from Row G (1990), a volume of plays by Dannie Abse.
A former Chief Examiner of Advanced Level English for the WJEC he has also been a visiting professor at Baylor University in Texas. He is a founder member of the University of Wales Association for the Study of Welsh Writing in English and a member of the Welsh Academy. He lives in Swansea, where he is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at the University College.