“Margiad Evans is a unique phenomenon in border country writing, and pretty rare in any writing.”
John Powell Ward
“Written with terse incisive power… the novels of Margiad Evans glow with a dark… passionate light.”
At the heart of Country Dance is Ann Goodman, a young woman torn by ‘the struggle for supremacy in her mixed blood’, Welsh and English. In this story of passion and murder set in the border country, the rural way of life is no idyll but a hard battle for survival.
About the author:
Artist and writer Margiad Evans (Peggy Whistler) was born in Uxbridge in 1909. Her work includes Country Dance (1932); The Wooden Doctor (1933); Turf or Stone (1934), and Creed (1936), as well as non-fiction, short stories, autobiography and two collections of poetry, Poems from Obscurity (1947) and A Candle Ahead(1956).
A fellow writer once showed me a set of ten beautifully bound diaries she had discovered in a second-hand bookshop in Hayon- Wye. Written in elegant copper-plate script by a farmer’s wife during the first thirty years of the twentieth century, they were decorated with pictures of royalty, flowers and Gibson girls cut from magazines. The pages were perfumed with the scent of long dead, pressed summer flowers, which added to the seductive promise of a glimpse into a vanished world. The diaries emphasized the narrow confines of rural life in Wales during the first half of the twentieth century. Possibly the most dynamic entry was written on Saturday July 1st, 1916: Rose early, milked cows. Weather fine. Packed cart. Changed into second best dress. Took bacon, plucked chickens, butter and cheese to market. Bought new hat. Nothing, not even the Great War, existed for that woman outside of her husband’s farm and its immediate vicinity. She noted the passing of the seasons, the vagaries of weather, prices at local markets and the purchase of every garment. National and international events passed her by. For her they held no relevance.