Richard Dafydd (or David) Lloyd Biography

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(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Richard David Vivian Llewellyn Lloyd, who wrote under the name Richard Llewellyn (lew-EHL-ihn), was born in 1906 in that section of Wales which he described so well in his most important novel, How Green Was My Valley. His education, by his own admission, was chaotic, gathered piecemeal in St. David’s, Cardiff, and London. Sent to Italy at the age of sixteen to study the hotel business, he began his apprenticeship in the kitchen. Meanwhile he studied art and sculpture in Venice. While working with an Italian film unit, he began to feel the need for a more solid existence; he was not yet out of his teens when he joined the British army, in which he served five years. During this time he got a taste of world travel, which subsequently became his avocation.{$S[A]Lloyd, Richard David Vivian Llewellyn;Llewellyn, Richard}

Returning to civilian life in 1931, he took a job as a movie extra and then became a writer for a penny film magazine. From these beginnings he rose successively in the motion-picture industry to become assistant director, scenarist, production manager, and finally director. Between periods of making films, he wrote Poison Pen, a melodrama produced in London in 1938; the success of this minor effort started him on his career as a professional writer. His first novel was How Green Was My Valley, the manuscript of which was begun at St. David’s, added to in India, revised in Cardiff, and put into final shape in London. Immensely popular, the novel sold fifty thousand copies in England and twice that number when it was published in the United States the following year. It was filmed in 1941.

During World War II, Llewellyn returned to military life, first as transportation officer in the Entertainment Battalion Services Association, later as a lieutenant in the Welsh Guards. His next novel also showed a change of course; None but the Lonely Heart is the story of a Cockney tough whose mother is blindly devoted to him. After the war Llewellyn divided his time between traveling and writing. He completed a series of novels to follow How Green Was My Valley. In addition to these and Mr. Hamish Gleave, based on the disappearance of Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean behind the Iron Curtain in 1951, he wrote several romantic novels for younger readers as well as other novels of various types that failed to equal the popularity of his earlier works.