The Dragon Has Two Tongues: Essays on Anglo-Welsh Writers and Writing

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9780708316931: The Dragon Has Two Tongues: Essays on Anglo-Welsh Writers and Writing

First published in 1968, The Dragon has Two Tongues was the first book-length study of the English-language literature of Wales. Written by one of Wales’s major English-language writers of fiction and poetry, it includes chapters dealing with the work of Dylan Thomas, Caradoc Evans, Jack Jones, Gwyn Thomas and Idris Davies, all of whom Glyn Jones knew personally.

This first-hand knowledge of the writers, coupled with the shrewdness of Glyn Jones’s critical comments, established The Dragon Has Two Tongues as an invaluable study of this generation of Welsh writers. At the same time, it contains Glyn Jones’s own autobiographical reflections on his life and literary career, his loss and rediscovery of the Welsh language, and the cultural shifts which resulted in the emergence of a distinctive English-language literature in Wales in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Although a classic study, The Dragon Has Two Tongues has long been out-of-print. Tony Brown had the opportunity to discuss the book with Glyn Jones before his death in 1995 and has had access to Glyn Jones’s own proposed revisions and to manuscript drafts. This first paperback edition therefore includes some updating of the text and a new bibliography.

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About the Author:

Tony Brown is a Senior Lecturer in English and Director of the Humanities Research Centre at the University of Wales, Bangor. He has edited several books, including The Collected Stories of Glyn Jones (1999), and is also the editor of the journal Welsh Writing in English: A Yearbook of Critical Essays.


“. . . Glyn Jones’s mixture of autobiography and anecdote evokes the living, contradictory literary milieu of mid-twentieth-century . . . The Dragon Has Two Tongues by Glyn Jones, first published in 1968, was a pioneering text in its opening up of critical debate about the place and value of Welsh writing in English. Tony Brown’s notes and introduction, based on his acquaintance with Jones, are valuable in contextualizing the book and justifying its appearance.” –Times Literary Supplement

(Times Literary Supplement)

“Tony Brown’s new edition of The Dragon has Two Tongues (University of Wales Press, brings back into print an important text which all students of Welsh writing in English must read if they are to understand how this body of literature came into being as a result of the linguistic and critical shifts of the early twentieth century. . . Expertly and sympathetically edited, the book has kept its relevance in remarkable ways, not least in the percipience of its critical assessment of major Welsh writers, and in the stimulating nature of many of its conclusions.” –Western Mail

(Western Mail)

“. . . this is a lovely book . . . at once entertaining, instructive, and important. It comes out of a first-hand knowledge of the subject, is rich in humour, humanity, judgement, and understanding; and it is beautifully written.” –Professor Gwyn Jones, Times Literary Supplement reviewing the first edition

(Gwyn Jones Times Literary Supplement)

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