How Green Was My Valley

How Green Was My Valley
First edition cover
AuthorRichard Llewellyn
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreHistorical fiction
PublisherMichael Joseph
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Followed byUp, into the Singing Mountain (1960) 

How Green Was My Valley is a 1939 novel by Richard Llewellyn, narrated by Huw Morgan, the main character, about his Welsh family and the mining community in which they live. The author had claimed that he based the book on his own personal experiences but this was found to be untrue after his death; Llewellyn was English-born and spent little time in Wales, though he was of Welsh descent.[1] Llewellyn gathered material for the novel from conversations with local mining families in Gilfach Goch.[1]

The title of the novel appears in two sentences. It is first used in Chapter Thirty, after the narrator has had his first sexual experience. He sits up to "... look down in the valley." He then reflects: "How green was my Valley that day, too, green and bright in the sun." The phrase is used again in the novel's last sentence: "How green was my Valley then, and the Valley of them that have gone."

In the United States, Llewellyn won the National Book Award for favourite novel of 1940, voted by members of the American Booksellers Association.[2]

  1. ^ a b "Richard Llewellyn". BBC Wales. 28 November 2008. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Books and Authors", The New York Times, 16 February 1941, page BR12. ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851–2007).

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