Menna Gallie - 1919 - 1990

Cilhendre, Upper St Mary Street, Newport, Pembrokeshire SA42 0PS

Novelist, born at Ystradgynlais, Brecs. Formerly an English teacher, she travelled widely in Europe and North America, but lived at Newport, Pembs., after her husband's retirement from the Chair of Political Science at Cambridge University. Her first novel, Strike For A Kingdom (1959), deals with the General Strike of 1926, her second, Man's Desiring (1960), located partly in England and partly in Wales, draws on her knowledge of university life, while The Small Mine (1962) returns to an industrial setting in south Wales.

She had an exuberant prose-style and an inventive comic flair but, althought humorous, she could not be called a comic writer since comedy tends to go with seriousness and pathos in her work, resulting in a bitter-sweet amalgam. In her two later novels, Travels with a Duchess (1968) and You're Welcome to Ulster (1970), she broke new ground; in the latter she depicts life in Northern Ireland against a background of communal conflict during the late 1960s. Menna Gallie also wrote short stories and translated Caradog Prichard's novel Un Nos Ola Leuad (1960) under the title Full Moon (1973).

(Information taken from Meic Stephens’ New Companion to the Literature of Wales, University of Wales Press, 1998)

This plaque was unveilled in Newport on 8 October 2011, and was funded by Literature Wales, the Rhys Davies Trust, the Alderman J. O Vaughan Fund and Honno Press. Literature Wales would like to thank Professor Angela V. John for her support and expertise.

Top image taken from the third series of Literary Postcards produced by Literature Wales and The Rhys Davies Trust. Photograph courtesy of Honno.
Image of Menna's plaque copyright Literature Wales.