Emeritus Professor Robert Maynard Jones (born 1929), generally known as Bobi Jones, is a Welsh Christian academic, one of the most prolific writers in the history of the Welsh language. A versatile master of poetry, fictional prose and criticism, he is now in his eighties and still producing work of a high standard. He was born in Cardiff in 1929, educated at the University of Wales, Cardiff (now Cardiff University) and University College Dublin, Professor Jones held the chair in Welsh language at Aberystwyth from 1980 until his retirement. (see also R. Geraint Gruffydd)
"Bobi Jones is an author of great significance, not least for non-Welsh speakers. Himself having learnt Welsh, his work offers an insight, more so than the work of most authors whose first language is Welsh, into the significance of Welsh language and culture, particularly because of the strong intellectual or reflective element in his work. Deeply involved with the language and its culture, passionately committed to the best things in Welsh life, there is in his work - even at moments of high intensity - an element of detachment, an ability to step aside and see the wonder of Wales, its beauty and its tragedy, with an outsider's reflective, almost analytical gaze." - John Emyr
Bobi Jones is a Christian leaning firmly on Calvinism. He attended a denominational chapel in Aberystwyth until a Welsh Evangelical Church was established in the town. He therefore followed the trend of evangelicals of the time in leaving the old Christian denominations (see also Evangelical Movement of Wales and Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones). He found that evangelical churches best suited his reformed theology. He has a regular article in the Welsh-language magazine of the Evangelical Movement of Wales, 'Y Cylchgrawn Efengylaidd', discussing the rich Christian heritage of Welsh literature.
Jones is a Welsh nationalist and is a strong supporter of the Welsh language. He would argue that culture and the nation are ordained of God and that therefore sustaining their existence is a form of praise to God. His ideas on nationalism and on politics in general are best put forward in his book Crist a Chenedlaetholdeb (Christ and Nationalism) published in 1994.
His view on sustaining the Welsh language and how he contributed to the struggle is unique. Many Welsh scholars such as R Tudur Jones contributed to the struggle through their support of pressure groups such as Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg; while Jones has been a supporter of such campaigns, his major contribution to the promotion of the language is in the field of teaching Welsh to adults.
As a Welsh learner himself, he held that the key to the restoration of the Welsh language was winning over the non-Welsh speakers of Wales, as opposed to putting all energy into campaigning for the rights of existing Welsh speakers. He felt that in addition to protesting their rights from the government, Welsh speakers should act positively themselves. Jones's positive contribution was to engage in teaching Welsh to adults. He was the founder of CYD which stands for Cymdeithas y Dysgwyr (Learners' Society). CYD is a society which arranges night classes for Welsh learners throughout Wales. He is their honorary President to this day. Despite being a republican he taught Welsh to Prince Charles when the latter attended the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in the summer of 1969 leading up to his investiture as Prince of Wales.
- Y Gân Gyntaf (1957)
- Nid yw Dwr yn Plygu (1958)
- I'r Arch (1959)
- Bod yn Wraig (1960)
- Rhwng Taf a Thaf (1960)
- Y Tair Rhamant (1960)
- Lenyddiaeth Saesneg yn Addysg Cymru (1961)
- Emile (1963)
- Cyflwyno'r Gymraeg (1964)
- System in Child Language (1964)
- Tyred Allan (1965)
- Man Gwyn (1965)
- Cymraegi Oedolion (1965-1966)
- Y Dynna Ddaeth Adref (1966)
- Yr Wyl Ifori (1967)
- Ci Wrth y Drws (1968)
- Daw'r Pasg i Bawb (1969)
- Highlights in Welsh Literature (1969)
- Podwar Emynydd (1970)
- Allor Wydn (1971)
- Sioc o'r Gofod (1971)
- Traed Prydferth (1973)
- Tafod y Llenor (1974)
- Ysgrifennu Creadigal i Fyfyrwyr Prifysgol (1974)
- Cyfeiriadur i'r Athro Iaith (co-author) (3 vol. (1974-1979)
- Llenyddiaeth Cymru (1975)
- Gwlad Llun (1976)
- Ann Griffiths: y Cyfrinydd Sylweddol (1977)
- Llên Cymru a Chrefydd (1977)
- Pwy Laddodd Miss Wales? (1977)
- "Selected poems" (1987)
- "Ysbryd y cwlwm" (1998)
- "Ynghylch tawelwch" (1998)
- "Tair rhamant Arthuraidd" (1998)
- "Rhy iach" (2004)
- "Y Fadarchen Hudol" (2005)
- "Meddwl y Gynghanedd" (2005)
- Jones, Bobi : 'Gweld gwerth' in magazine 'Taliesin' : 200?
- Jones, Bobi : 'Language regained'
- Emyr, John : 'Bobi Jones' : 75th volume in the 'Writers of Wales Series' published on behalf of the Welsh Arts Council