by Eleri Hedd James
Every new speaker of a language is a gift to that language. They bring with them new life, new energy, new insights and perspectives: in short, renewal. Robert Maynard Jones certainly brought a vibrancy to the Welsh language, its literature and culture. Born to an English-speaking family in Roath, Cardiff in 1929 he became the most prolific author that the Welsh language has ever seen. The sheer number of his publications is a phenomenon, not to mention their scope and significance. So prolific was he that he published his library of works under two names: Bobi Jones for his poetry and fiction, with R. M. Jones reserved for his academic writings; not to mention the pseudonyms he used for publishing children’s books. And not even the painful spinal condition which blighted him in later years could deter him from writing and publishing. Despite being unable to sit at a desk he persevered with the assistance of his beloved Beti (his wife and muse) who faithfully typed on his behalf.Sign in to read more
Eleri Hedd James is a fellow Cardiffian who left the city for an interlude by the sea at Bobi Jones’s old department at Aberystwyth University. There she became intrigued by his ambitious project in literary theory and returned to Cardiff to write her doctoral thesis on his work. A volume based on that thesis was published by the University of Wales Press in 2009. She currently works for the Welsh Language Commissioner and is a proud parent-governor of Ysgol Hamadryad, the first Welsh-medium primary school to serve the multicultural communities of Grangetown and Butetown.