Gwyneth Vaughan, Eluned Morgan and the Emancipation of Welsh Women

Rosanne Reeves, Jane Aaron

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    Abstract

    Cymru Fydd, the Welsh Home Rule movement of the 1880s and 1890s, included female suffrage as one of its goals, and envisioned its proposed Welsh National Assembly as including elected female members. Beriah Gwynfe Evans, an activist within that movement, introduced into his satirical novel Dafydd Dafis (1898) an episode in which his protagonist, in a prophetic dream, sees the allegorical figure of “Woman Enslaved” freed from her bonds by nine female helpmates, all well-known historical figures of the period. Two of those nine heroines, depicted in the cartoon which illustrated his dream and which also appears on the cover of this journal, were Welsh-language writers. The novelist Gwyneth Vaughan is shown aiming a blow with her “Woman Suffrage” broom against “Man the Oppressor”, while the travel writer Eluned Morgan also stands ready to aid in the freeing of “Woman Enslaved”. After an introductory account of the relation between Cymru Fydd and the women's movement, this article focuses on the contribution of these two writers to the emancipation of Welsh women. Vaughan's novels O Gorlannau y Defaid (From the Sheepfold, 1905) and Plant y Gorthrwm (The Children of the Oppression, 1908), along with Morgan's Dringo'r Andes (Climbing the Andes, 1904), Gwymon y Môr (Seaweed, 1909) and Ar Dir a Môr (On Land and Sea, 1913), are explored to assess the degree to which they did indeed aid in freeing Woman from her chains.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    JournalWomen's Writing
    Early online date28 Dec 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Dec 2016

    Keywords

    • Gwyneth Vaughan
    • women's movement
    • Cymru Fydd
    • Eluned Morgan
    • female suffrage

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