These notes are intended for readers who have only a little knowledge of the history, language, and literature of Wales. Further biographical and bibliographical details will be found in The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales (ed. Meic Stephens, 1986, 1990); see also the monographs in the Writers of Wales series (eds. Meic Stephens and R. Brinley Jones).
Owen Morgan Edwards ( 1858-1920), one of the pioneers of modern Welsh prose, was born and brought up at Coed-y-pry, a small farmhouse near Lianuwchllyn in Merioneth. Educated at the U.C.W., Aberystwyth, and at Balliol College, Oxford, he was appointed Fellow and Tutor in History at Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1889. Returning to Wales in 1907 as Chief Inspector of Schools, he lived for the rest of his life in his home village. He devoted his immense energies to the fostering of education through the medium of Welsh and, in all his many writings, encouraged the people of Wales to learn about their country's history and literature. His description of the village school, and the infamous practice of the Welsh Not which flourished in many parts of Wales during the latter part of the nineteenth century, is taken from the opening chapter of his autobiography, Clych Atgof ( 1906).