Edward Thomas Writer C19th / C20th
Llandeilo Talybont features in English literature. Edward Thomas born 1878 in South London but his parents were from S Wales, father was a civil servant. He was very aware of his welsh ancestry although couldn’t speak welsh. They had family in Pontarddulais and he came every year to spend time here with family and friends. One of his friends was John Williams, Head of Waunwen School. In WW1 he volunteered Artist Rifles, before transferring to the Royal Artillery. He was killed in April 1917.
In the 1890s early 1900, while on his visits to Pontarddulais he wrote letters to girl friend who letter became his wife. While at Lincoln College, Oxford he was one of his lecturers was Sir O M Edwards his Welshness confirmed at college.
He was a writer / journalist love of Southern of England, Wales and nature and was asked write a book about Wales – a travel book about Wales. “Beautiful Wales” was published in 1905 and illustrated by Robert Fowler.
“It’s a very quirky book; it’s not what we’d call a travel book like the Rough Guide to somewhere.... What is interesting, the last chapter which takes up half the book, looks at Wales month by month and the very last part starts with these words – “December 20 miles from the sea a little river leaves an underground lake, flows through a cave and falls radiant from the darkness among steep rocks...” which of course is the River Loughor, which comes out about 20 miles from the sea at Llygaid Llwchwr. He also mentions a nearby castle but the teasing thing is that he does not give any names, but right at the end he mentions - “the great water bent as it were, a white arm of the sea ..... and he mentions long flat marches where seagulls waiver and mew, a cluster of wind-worn oaks and a little desolate white church and white walled grave yard.... and so on.” So if you know the area it can only be one place – it’s the old church of Llandeilo Talybont. So here we are in English literature as well.“ Rev John Walters 2011