Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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THOMAS , PERCY GORONWY ( 1875 - 1954 ), professor of English ;

b. 26 Nov. 1875 at Birkenhead , Cheshire , son of Josiah Thomas and Marianne (née Jones , of Llanfyllin ), later of Liverpool , and grandson of John Thomas , minister (Congl.) , Liverpool ( 1821 - 1892 ; DWB , 953) . He was educated at the University of Liverpool and Caius College , Cambridge , and gained a Litt.D. of the University of Liverpool c. 1925 . His first post was as assistant lecturer in English at the University College of North Wales , Bangor ( 1903-06 ) but he spent most of his life in the University of London as lecturer in English language and medieval literature at Bedford College ( 1923-42 ). He resumed contact with the University of Wales as external examiner during 1927-30 and he was external examiner to the University of London 1930-33 . Despite his shyness, his students could not fail to realise the depth and breadth of his scholarship as he surveyed the linguistic changes from the fourth century onwards and presented them with glimpses into the realms of Germanic and Celtic lore. He was the editor of a number of medieval and sixteenth-century works and author of numerous volumes . His published works include: A glossary of the Mercian hymns (with H.C. Wyld , 1903 ); Alfred and the prose of his reign ( 1907 ); Greene's Pandosto ( 1907 ); Introduction to the history of the English language ( 1920 ); Middle English section in the Year's Work in English studies ( 1923 and 1924 ); English literature before Chaucer ( 1924 ); Aspects of literary theory and practice, 1550-1870 ( 1931 ); and articles in Modern Language Review , and other learned periodicals.

He m., 22 Aug. 1918 , Mary Pugh Jones , daughter of John Ivor Jones , Llangollen and Colombia , S. America , and they had two sons. They lived at Winfrith , 26 Forty Avenue , Wembley Park , Middlesex , where he d. 28 May 1954 .

Sources:

  • Who was who? ;
  • Who's who in Wales ( 1921 );
  • The Times , 29 May and 9 June 1954 .

Author:

Dr Mary Auronwy James, Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001