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Hilda Vaughan

The Battle to the Weak

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A forgotten gem of British literature, a love story mined from a rich seam of Welsh writing in English. Captures lives of rural women in the early 20th century, the hardship of their home lives and hopes of escape.

Foreword by Fflur Dafydd.

In the first and, arguably, the finest of Hilda Vaughan's ten novels, the dawn of the twentieth century brings a new generation that clashes with the conservative traditionalism of an old Welsh way of life. Rhys Lloyd and his engagement with the ideas of Social Darwinism and the League of Nations make him a dangerous figure in the village. The son of a Welsh-speaking Nonconformist, his love for the church-going Esther reflects tensions that have long and bitterly divided the community. Most striking, however, is the stoic and determined Esther who calmly suffers the casual brutality of her agricultural upbringing, drawing on an inner strength and organic spirituality that would provide an archetype for Vaughan's later heroines.

About the author:

Hilda Vaughan lived from 1892 to 1985. She was educated privately but her experiences with the Women's Land Army during WWI exposed her to a different side of life. Battle to the Weak, her first novel, was published in 1925. She is known for her acute ear and ability to capture the unique style of speech of the people of Radnorshire, as well as her insight into women's daily lives.