Caradog Prichard

20th Century Welsh Novelist

Portrait of Caradog PrichardCaradog Prichard

Caradog Prichard

Caradog Prichard (1904–1980) was born in the slate-quarrying town of Bethesda, in northwest Wales. Pursuing journalism as a career, he trained at Caernarfon, before moving on to Cardiff and eventually London. After the Second World War he became a sub-editor on the foreign desk at the Daily Telegraph. During his time he wrote four prize-winning odes and One Moonlit Night. He remained in London until he died.

cover image of the book One Moonlit Night

One Moonlit Night

Caradog Prichard’s One Moonlit Night, first published in 1961, is a Welsh literary masterpiece: “one of the most impressive novels to be published in Wales since the Second World War” (The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales). Just recently translated from the Welsh into English, One Moonlit Night recalls the pathos and beauty of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milkwood. Told from the standpoint of a compassionate young boy coming of age in a small North Welsh village, much of the novel is autobiographical: the author’s hometown, Bethesda, a childhood under the shadow of World War I, the boy’s depressed, ailing mother and his heartbreaking empathy for her. The novel is told with a remarkable shifting between formal narrative and local dialect, the young narrator recounting moments in his life with poetic language and tenderness. But it is with a catastrophic act of madness that the novel culminates, carried out, in the words of H. Pritchard Jones, “to the accompaniment of a De Profundis-like psalm, an invocation of all the mother figures in the narrator’s own life.”

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