Cwmardy: the story of a Welsh mining valley


Lewis Jones was a political activist and novelist. He was a prominent figure in most early twentieth century industrial conflicts, for instance the 1926 General Strike, protests contesting the Means Test (introduced in the 1930s), and the notorious hunger marches to London – 1932, 1934 and 1936. Jones was also an avid member of the Communist Party. The scope of his literary work is quite remarkable for he, in a short, difficult and busy period, wrote two novels about the South Wales coal mining valleys.  Although the volumes are not without their faults from a literary perspective, are exceptional in terms of content and remain extremely powerful. His novels ‘Cwmardy’, and ‘We Live’ were to be read in sequence. They address the famous 1910-11 Cambrian Combine Strike and the miners’ struggles up to 1926.