William David Owen

William David Owen (21 October 1874 – 4 November 1925), born William Owen, was a Welsh author best known for his novel Madam Wen (White Lady).[1]

Ty Frannan, birthplace of author W. D. Owen


Madam Wen was published in book form in 1925, but it had first appeared as a serial in the Welsh-language newspaper y Genedl Gymraeg (The Welsh Nation) in 1914.[2] The first printed English edition of the story was published in an abridged form in October 2009, in a biographical work about the author by T. T. M. Hale, entitled The Rhosneigr Romanticist.[3][2] There had been an earlier English translation of Madam Wen, which was handwritten and bound into a book by one named Richard Parry in 1937.

Decease and familyEdit

William David Owen died in 1925, barely two weeks after his novel was first published.[2]

Owen was survived by his wife, Gwen (née Empsall), his mother Jane, and two sisters, Ellen and Sarah. Ellen had worked for Florence Nightingale between 1885 and 1892, as her cook and housekeeper.[4]


  1. ^ Robert Thomas Jenkins. "Owen, William David (1874-1925), lawyer and journalist". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Madam Wen exhibition in Rhosneigr's threatened library". BBC News. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2011.
  3. ^ Rhosneigr Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9562962-0-7
  4. ^ Letters in the Claydon House Trust Archives, Claydon House, Bucks, at Anglesey County Archives, Llangefni, and in a private collection.