Elis, Islwyn Ffowc 1924-2004
ELIS, Islwyn Ffowc 1924-2004
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born November 17, 1924, in Wrexham, Wales; died January 22, 2004, in Carmathen, Wales. Minister, educator, and author. Elis was considered by many to be the leading author of popular fiction written in Welsh. Though he fostered a love of literature from a young age, his parents convinced him to study for the ministry, and toward that end he earned a B.A. from University College in Bangor, Wales, in 1946, and a B.D. from Aberystwyth Theological College in 1949. Ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1950, he served as a pastor in Montgomeryshire and Anglesey, Wales, in the early 1950s. But his desire to write could not be extinguished, and he proved his skills by publishing a collection of essays titled Cyn oeri'r gwaed in 1952, followed by the novels Cysgod y cryman (1953; translated as Shadow of the Sickle in 1998) and Ffenestri tua'r gwyll (1955). His early success led him to leave the ministry in 1956 to become a full-time author. More novels followed, including Yn oli a Lleifior (1956; translated as Return to Lleifior in 1999), and Eira mawr (1971), as well as a science-fiction novel, Y blaned dirion (1968), among other works. While some criticized the literary merit of his best-selling novels, their popularity remained undeniable and many were adapted to radio and television. In his later years, Elis wrote fewer novels in favor of plays, short stories, and song lyrics. He also took up teaching, lecturing in Welsh at Trinity College from 1963 to 1968 and at St. David's University College from 1975 until his retirement in 1988. A supporter of an independent Wales, Elis was active in politics and ran unsuccessfully for Parliament in the 1960s. This nationalism was also evident in his editorship of Y Ddraig Goch, the newspaper of the Plaid Cymru party.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Independent (London, England), January 27, 2004, p. 18.
Times (London, England), February 12, 2004.