Green, Green My Valley Now

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First edition (publ. Michael Joseph)

Green, Green My Valley Now is a novel of 1975, by the author Richard Llewellyn. It is the final of three sequels to the better known How Green Was My Valley.

Plot summary[edit]

Huw Morgan has become a successful businessman in Patagonia, establishing farming and civil contracting enterprises. But with political currents shifting in military-governed Argentina, he and his second wife Sûs decide to return to Wales.

Now a rich man, Huw spares no expense to buy, restore and refurbish his wife's ancestral farmhouse in Mid-Wales and make it into a fine manor house. His apparently limitless wealth also allows him to buy property and land to try to restore the fortunes of the small local town. He becomes aware of nationalist feelings amongst the people, but makes no real attempt to understand them.

As news of his arrival spreads, he meets his niece Blodwen, his sister Olwen's daughter, a piano student; he sponsors her to study in Germany. He learns that the descendants of his other siblings live in Australia, America, South Africa and New Zealand.

Huw is visited by a woman claiming to be the granddaughter of his brother Davy from Melbourne; she brings Kiri, a French girl, with her. She is later revealed to be a fraud, and an IRA terrorist, seeking an isolated country hideout for bomb-making. Kiri is a Breton nationalist and also a bomb-maker.

After his wife dies, Huw marries Teleri, also a descendant of Patagonian Welsh. The ceremony at the farm is disrupted by a would-be assassin, seeking revenge for Kiri's imprisonment, but the attack is foiled by his many friends.

After the marriage, Huw and Teleri slip quietly away on honeymoon, planning to visit Patagonia. Before doing so, Huw finally visits his native valley, which he previously avoided, and is astonished to discover the coal tips gone and the area landscaped. Even fish have returned to the once-polluted river.

Criticism[edit]

Less well-known than the 1939 novel How Green Was My Valley, on which it is based, the story is arguably weaker than the original. It completes the Huw Morgan cycle. It presents Huw as an extremely rich man but with apparently little sense of judgement in the use of his wealth. He has become an extremely driven man in a sexual sense, conducting brief but passionate affairs with his housekeeper and willingly accepting advances from young women.

The author appears to have retconned Huw's age - if he was born during the reign of Queen Victoria (as implied in the original novel) he is likely to be over 80 years old by the time of the final novel. But Llewellyn portrays Huw as a much younger man.

References[edit]

Richard Llewellyn at britannica.com http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/345151/Richard-Llewellyn

Green, Green My Valley Now. Published 1975 by Michael Joseph Ltd.