The appearance of My People in 1915 caused a literary sensation. In England critics praised it as a work of art comparable with Zola and new writers such as Joyce. In Evans’s native Wales there was outrage at his portrayal of rural west Wales. Instantly Evans became the most reviled man in his country: his books were burned, his plays disrupted. For his astonishing attack on what he perceived to be a corrupt Liberal Nonconformist hierarchy Evans created a mean world with particular clarity. Its leaders appear as amoral demons speaking a language of literally translated Welsh and Old Testament phrases, using the Bible to justify acts of gross hypocrisy and self-gratification. The fate of its downtrodden victims has appalled and fascinated readers for over eighty years. This edition includes John Harris’s informative essay on the background to these classic stories.
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