Emyr Humphreys

Emyr Humphreys (born 15 April 1919) is a retired Welsh novelist, poet, and author.

Emyr Humphreys
Born (1919-04-15) 15 April 1919 (age 101)
Prestatyn, Wales[1]
LanguageWelsh, English
Alma materUniversity of Wales, Aberystwyth

Life and careerEdit

Humphreys was born on 15 April 1919 at Prestatyn in Denbighshire, and educated at Rhyl High School and University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He registered as a conscientious objector in the Second World War, working on a farm, and later doing relief work in Egypt and Italy. After the war he worked as a teacher, as a radio producer at the BBC, and later became a lecturer in drama at Bangor University.[2][3][4]

Humphreys retired in 2009 aged 90 after his final book was published.[5] He reached his centenary on 15 April 2019.[6][7]


During his long bilingual writing career, he has published over twenty novels, which include such classics as A Toy Epic (1958), Outside the House of Baal (1965), and The Land of the Living, an epic sequence of seven novels charting the political and cultural history of twentieth-century Wales: Flesh and Blood; The Best of Friends; Salt of the Earth; An Absolute Hero; Open Secrets; National Winner, and Bonds of Attachment. He has also written plays for stage and television, short stories, The Taliesin Tradition (a cultural history of Wales), and published his Collected Poems in 1999.[citation needed]


Among many honours, he was awarded the Somerset Maugham Award in 1958 for Hear and Forgive.[8] Humphreys won the Wales Book of the Year Award in 1992 and 1999.[4][9] Humphreys is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature [4] and the Learned Society of Wales.[10]


  1. ^ https://literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/emyr-humphreys
  2. ^ "Emyr Humphreys - Literature". literature.britishcouncil.org. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  3. ^ Steve Dube (18 April 2009). "Emyr Humphreys' final book The Woman at the Window". Wales Online. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  4. ^ a b c "Emyr Humphreys - Biography". British Council. Archived from the original on 12 October 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  5. ^ Steve Dube (18 April 2009). "Emyr Humphreys' final book The Woman at the Window". Wales Online. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  6. ^ Tristan Hughes (15 April 2019). "Emyr Humphreys at 100". Wales Arts Review. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Why is one of Wales' greatest cultural heroes being ignored on his 100th birthday?". Nation Cymru. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  8. ^ "BBC - North West Wales Arts -Emyr Humphreys". BBC Wales. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Past Winners and Judges". Academi. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  10. ^ "Learned Society of Wales - Emyr Humphreys". Learned Society of Wales. Retrieved 31 October 2018.

External linksEdit