How Green Was My Valley
About this deal
I suppose being Welsh, I was predisposed to feel pride at the very welshness of these people, from the singing to the rugby, family and community to the Welsh dialect throughout the book. The 1975 production, scripted by Elaine Morgan, starred Stanley Baker, Siân Phillips, and Nerys Hughes. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't warm to this one, and it baffles me as to how this book is so popular.
An immediate bestseller on publication in 1939, How Green Was My Valley quickly became one of the best-loved novels of the twentieth century. Even though they were great together as a couple, they were rubbish parents, I hated how they ruined Angharad's life by pushing her to marry Iestyn instead of Gruffydd.That gives a feeling of only barely repressed menace throughout the whole book, not particularly needed when everyone is going down badly maintained pits, struggling against the mine owners or struggling at school against bullies and anti-Welsh sentiment. Two noggins in, and with the third, throw in the chopped bottoms of leeks, but save the green leaves until ten minutes from the time you sit to eat, for then you shall find them still a lovely green. There were also some glaring plot holes that bothered the heck out of me Why would a mother, knowing her village's Puritanical, gossip-addiction, actually encourage her teenage son to move in with the family's young, comely widow? For the British TV series, see How Green Was My Valley (1960 TV series) and How Green Was My Valley (1975 TV series).
The best parts are in the first half of the book as a man looks back at his childhood in a once-green valley.How Green Was My Valley" is a book about nostalgia and it is told from the point of view of Huw, who is now an elder, but who reflects back on his life and his childhood in the valleys of Wales.
Sadly, Karen at Booker Talkhowever, pointed out that though born to Welsh parents, Richard Llewellyn is not considered a Welsh author and that he lied about being born in Wales! How Green Was My Valley is a 1939 novel by Richard Llewellyn, Narrated by Huw, the main character, of his Welsh family and the mining community in which they live. Many a fantasy novel captured my imagination, but a work of historical fiction set only a few decades in the past? Huw has a temper on him and inflicts some damage on people, but that’s seen, I think, to not in the end help, as he’s still stuck where he started out, alone and looking back at the green grass of his youth, now obscured by slag heaps (this book was published in 1939, long before the horror of Aberfan; now the Valleys have been greened again by various initiatives, whether or not that will help the social and economic deprivation they have experienced).Good jelly dripping and crusty, home-baked bread, with the mealy savour of ripe wheat roundly in your mouth and under your teeth, roasted sweet and crisp and deep brown, and covered with little pockets where the dripping will hide and melt and shine in the light, deep down inside, ready to run when your teeth bite in. It’s made in 1941 in black and white, and won Best Picture at the Oscars, famously beating Citizen Kane. Their relationship consisted entirely of a few kisses and half-hearted promises over the course of a week. I joke (but, of course, I'm not really joking at all) that I can only read it once every decade, because the contents are too beautiful and too painful for everyday wear.
While I’ve never read the book, I’m familiar with the story from the film adaptation (there may have been a TV series as well!
Llewellyn wrote 3 more novels that act as sequels to Huw’s stories, but user reviews on Goodreads are saying that they are nowhere near as evocative as How Green Was My Valley, which might explain why none of them is available as an ebook. Do also visit Brona’s interesting piece about the controversies around Llewellyn’s claimed heritage and knowledge/experience (I’m still counting this for Dewithon as it’s set in Wales …). The book begins with Huw Morgan looking back over his life and mourning having to leave his home due to coal slag overtaking the village.