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Distributed for University of Wales Press

In the Shadow of the Pulpit

Literature and Nonconformist Wales

Since the earliest days of language, writers and preachers have been locked in a struggle for power and authority. In the Shadow of the Pulpit shows how that struggle has been at the heart of Welsh writing for more than two centuries, intimately shaping the English-language literature produced in Wales in that time. It traces the growing literary response to the power of Welsh Nonconformity from the eighteenth century onwards, and it also uncovers a whole new body of nineteenth-century fiction from Wales.

372 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2010

University of Wales Press - Writing Wales in English

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

Religion: Religion and Literature

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“This is a crucially important analysis that should blaze a trail for succeeding generations to discover paths not only through the wilderness of their world but also their own selves. As I did as I read. Matters became clear which had been little more that a mist of intuition.”

Emyr Humphreys

 “It requires an exceptional effort of patient scholarship and historical empathy to convey how profoundly the thoughts, words, habits and deeds of those who lived only a generation or so ago were shaped by religious influences—often never more so than when they sought to rebel against them. In this new history of the Welsh dissenting culture and its impact on major Anglo-Welsh writers, M. Wynn Thomas eloquently and convincingly demonstrates how crucial its influence was.”

Lawrence Buell, Harvard University

Table of Contents

General Editor’s Preface


List of Illustrations

Preacher’s Wor(l)d

1. A Bluffer’s Guide to Welsh Nonconformity

2. The Long Nonconformist Century

3. Bringing Nonconformity to Book

Writer’s Wor(l)d

4. War of Words: The Preacher and the Writer

5. Spoiled Preachers

6. Wales BC

Individual Worlds

7. ‘Marlais’: Dylan Thomas and the ‘Tin Bethels’

8. ‘Fucking and Forgiveness’: The Case of Glyn Jones

9. ‘Solid in Goodly Counsel’: The Chapels Write Back



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