Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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MACHEN , ARTHUR ( 1863 - 1947 ), formerly JONES , ARTHUR LLEWELLIN , writer ;

b. 3 Mar. 1863 . He spent his early years at Llanddewi Fach rectory , three miles north of Caerleon-on-Usk, Mon. ; he attended Hereford Cathedral School until he was seventeen. After a period of near starvation in London , he enjoyed an independent income for a time and brought out some of his best early stories. He had already written a translation of Casanova and two imitative works, The Anatomy of tobacco and The Chronicle of Clemendy . In 1900 he acted with F.R. Benson 's touring company. He entered journalism and two of his best-known works were originally published in the newspaper for which he worked. The Bowman ( Evening News , 29 Sept. 1914 ) gave rise during World War I to the story of the Angel of Mons . The first of his autobiographical works, Far off things ( 1923 ), was printed under another title in the Evening News in 1915 , and contains pleasing reminiscences written in a mellow spirit. Machen was celebrated for his stories of the other-world, fringing reality; terror is their keynote. Hieroglyphics , The Hill of dreams , and The children of the pool contain the best known of them. In his later years, Machen became a Roman Catholic . He m. twice, and had a son and daughter by his second wife. He retired to Amersham in 1929 and was noted as a conversationalist . He was awarded a Civil List pension in 1932 . He d. 15 Dec. 1947 .


  • The Times , 16 Dec. 1947 ;
  • information from Leslie Millar;
  • [ D. P. M. Michael , Arthur Machen (Cardiff, 1971) (1971) ;
  • and see Meic Stephens , ed. The New Companion to the Literature of Wales (Cardiff, 1998) (1998) ].


Cecil John Layton Price, Ph.D. (1915-91), Aberystwyth / Swansea

Published date: 2001