In the Shadow of the Pulpit

Posted on 25 October 2010

‘In the Shadow of the Pulpit: Literature and Nonconformist Wales' by M. Wynn Thomas

The launch of a pioneering new histo-cultural study, ‘In the Shadow of the Pulpit: Literature and Nonconformist Wales by M. Wynn Thomas’, will take place on (Saturday) 6 November, 6pm at the illustrious Dylan Thomas Arts Centre in Swansea.

Thomas’s book offers a challenging new reading of familiar Welsh literary figures such as Dylan Thomas and provides new insight into the relationship between the Welsh past and present, bringing interesting new works and authors to light.

From village to city, the chapels loom large everywhere in the Welsh landscape. And so the author poses the question: what do they tell us about our past? ‘In the Shadow of the Pulpit’ introduces us in simple terms to chapel culture, and shows us how heavily it has influenced the modern world of Wales. In particular, it demonstrates how, from the nineteenth century onwards, the obsession of Welsh writers with the chapels came to shape their novels, plays and poems; and how their attitude towards them changed from sympathy to hostility and outright rivalry.

In this new history of the Welsh dissenting culture and its impact on major Anglo-Welsh writers, Thomas eloquently and convincingly demonstrates how crucial its influence was. Anyone seriously interested in what the “Protestant imagination” was, and for many actually still is, will find great value in his insights, whose horizon extends across the Atlantic as well as through the centuries of Welsh history and literature from the Reformation to the mid-twentieth century.

M. Wynn Thomas is Professor of English and Emyr Humphreys Professor of English at Swansea University. A Fellow of the British Academy, he has published twenty books on American poetry and on the two literatures of Wales.


Notes to Editors

For more information on the launch event or the book, contact Bethan James: 029 2055 7440

For more information on the University of Wales Press visit:
For press and media information, please contact Tom Barrett, Communications Officer, University of Wales: t.barrett


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