Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LEWES , EVELYN ANNA ( c. 1873 - 1961 ), author ;

one of the three children of Major Price Lewes , adjutant of the Pembroke militia , and his wife Florence (née Kinnear , of Halifax , Nova Scotia ); b. c. 1873 in Canada , but brought up at Poyston , Haverfordwest, Pemb. , and educated privately. About 1902 the family moved to Tyglyn Aeron, Cards. , one of the seats of the Lewes family who had taken a prominent part in Cardiganshire for the last four centuries as justices of the peace , high sheriffs and members of parliament . She moved to Eithinfa , Cliff Terrace , Aberystwyth c. 1928 . She d. 4 March 1961 in hospital at Oswestry aged 87, and her ashes were buried in Trefilan, Cards.

She was a woman of great character and personality. She began writing poems, articles and stories for publication in 1896 when a poem appeared in Wales , and continued to do so until about 1940 . Her work appeared in countless magazines including The Gentleman's Magazine , c. 1905 , The Field and the Queen , c. 1905-14 , The Bookman , Fishing Gazette , 1923-31 , T.P.'s and Cassell's Weekly , 1927 , Every woman's world ( Toronto ), Western Home monthly ( Winnipeg ), etc.; and in The Western Mail , The Cambrian News and other newspapers. Among her books are Picturesque Aberayron ( 1899 ), and A guide to Aberaeron and Aeron valley ( 1922 ). She taught herself Welsh and was a diligent reader ( 1924-33 ) of Lewis Glyn Cothi 's works for a dictionary of the Welsh language, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru . Her translation of portions of the poems of Dafydd ap Gwilym appeared in The life and poems of Dafydd ap Gwilym ( 1915 ). Essays on ‘ Theatres of West Wales ’ and ‘ From Neuaddlwyd to Madagascar ’ (in Welsh ) are among her MSS in the National Library of Wales . She became an authority on Welsh folklore . Her story ‘ Hywel of Claerwen ’ was published in the transactions of Bangor national eisteddfod 1902 , and others appeared in Dream folk and fancies ( 1926 ). Her best known work, Out with the Cambrians ( 1934 ), is a record of outings with the Cambrian Antiquarian Society , of which she was a committee member for many years. She became a member of the Gorsedd in 1916 and was a member of the court of governors of U.C.W. and N.L.W. from 1940 .


  • The Biographical Index of W. W. Price, Aberdâr (at the National Library of Wales and Aberdare Public Library) ;
  • Evelyn Lewes Manuscripts at the National Library of Wales at N.L.W.;
  • The Cambrian News , 24 March 1961 ;
  • see Glyn Lewis Jones , Llyfryddiaeth Ceredigion, 1600-1964 (Aberystwyth, 1967) and A Bibliography of Cardiganshire … 1964-1968 Supplement (Aberystwyth, 1970) for a list of some of her articles.


Dr Mary Auronwy James, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001