William Henry Davies, (born July 3, 1871, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales--died Sept. 26, 1940, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, Eng.), English poet whose lyrics have a force and simplicity uncharacteristic of the poetry of most of his Georgian contemporaries.After serving as apprentice to a picture framer, Davies tramped through the United States, crossed the Atlantic many times on cattle boats, lost a foot while trying to jump a train headed for the Klondike region in Canada, became a peddler and street singer in England, and, after several years of this wandering life, published his first..
Ivor Novello, original name David Ivor Davies, (born Jan. 15, 1893, Cardiff, Glamorganshire, Wales--died March 6, 1951, London, Eng.), Welsh actor-manager, composer, and playwright, best known for his lush, sentimental, romantic musicals.Novello, the son of the celebrated Welsh singing teacher, Dame Clara Novello Davies, was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, and served with the Royal Naval Air Service during World War I. He became famous with a phenomenally successful patriotic wartime song, "Keep the Home Fires Burning" (1915). After he was demobilized in 1919, he accepted a motion-picture..
Dylan Thomas, in full Dylan Marlais Thomas, (born October 27, 1914, Swansea, Glamorgan [now in Swansea], Wales--died November 9, 1953, New York, New York, U.S.), Welsh poet and prose writer whose work is known for its comic exuberance, rhapsodic lilt, and pathos. His personal life, punctuated by reckless bouts of drinking, was notorious.Thomas spent his childhood in southwestern Wales. His father taught English at the Swansea grammar school, which in due course the boy attended. Because Dylan's mother was a farmer's daughter, he had a country home he could go to when on holiday. His poem "Fern..
Arthur Machen, pseudonym of Arthur Llewellyn Jones, (born March 3, 1863, Caerleon, Monmouthshire, Eng.--died Dec. 15, 1947, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire), Welsh novelist and essayist, a forerunner of 20th-century Gothic science fiction.Machen's work was deeply influenced by his childhood in Wales and his readings in the occult and metaphysics. He lived most of his life in poverty as a clerk, teacher, and translator. In 1902 he became an actor with Benson's Shakespearean Repertory Company. And, in 1912, approaching his 50th birthday, he joined the staff of the London Evening News.The..
Henry Vaughan, (born April 17, 1622, Llansantffraed, Breconshire, Wales--died April 23, 1695, Llansantffraed), Anglo-Welsh poet and mystic remarkable for the range and intensity of his spiritual intuitions.Educated at Oxford and studying law in London, Vaughan was recalled home in 1642 when the first Civil War broke out, and he remained there the rest of his life.In 1646 his Poems, with the Tenth Satyre of Juvenal Englished was published, followed by a second volume in 1647. Meanwhile he had been "converted" by reading the religious poet George Herbert and gave up "idle verse." His Silex..