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Thomas Stephens was a literary critic and antiquarian. He became known as a successful eisteddfodic writer and in 1848, at the Abergavenny eisteddfod, won the Prince of Wales Prize for essay writing. Stephens presented a lengthy dissertation on Welsh literature in the days of the early medieval poets, this work was later published in 1849 under the title, The Literature of the Kymry. It is his most celebrated publication and the first of its kind to become known to European scholars within the literary field.