Planet 234

Francesca Rhydderch
The Queen of Romance: Marguerite Jervis (A Biography)
by Liz Jones and
Cyfrinachau by Eluned Phillips, edited with an introduction by Menna Elfyn

by Liz Jones

Honno, £12.99

With the publication of these titles, Honno Press draws attention to two fascinating and underrated writers of the last century. Firstly, Liz Jones offers a humane and sympathetic account of the output of Marguerite Jervis, bringing to light an astonishing number of popular romances published during what was a long and eventful life. The second book under review is quite a different enterprise, consisting of two works by Welsh-language author Eluned Phillips, published in the Honno Classics series and edited with an introduction by Menna Elfyn: a novel, Cyfrinachau (‘Secrets’) followed by the poem on ‘La Môme Piaf’, which came second at the National Eisteddfod in Bala in 1967 (another poem by Phillips came first). The contrast between the two writers emerges immediately, with the extravagant excess of larger-than-life Jervis on the one hand, and the quieter, more considered literary career of Eluned Phillips on the other.

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