Ernest Rhys

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Ernest Percival Rhys (/rs/; 17 July 1859 – 25 May 1946) was a Welsh-English writer, best known for his role as founding editor of the Everyman's Library series of affordable classics. He wrote essays, stories, poetry, novels and plays.[1]


Rhys was born in London, and brought up in Carmarthen and Newcastle-upon-Tyne. After working in the coal industry, he was employed by the Walter Scott Publishing Co. doing editorial work for five years from 1886 on its Camelot Series/Camelot Classics of 65 reprints and translations, while he turned to writing as a profession. He was a founder member in 1890 of the Rhymers' Club in London, and a contributor to The Book of the Rhymers' Club (1893).

In 1906, Rhys persuaded J. M. Dent, the publisher, for whom he was working on The Lyric Poets series, to start out on the ambitious Everyman project, aiming to publish 1000 titles; the idea was to put out ten at a time. The target was eventually reached, ten years after Rhys died.


  • The Great Cockney Tragedy (1891)
  • A London Rose: and other rhymes (1894) poems
  • The Fiddler of Carne (1896) Prose
  • Welsh Ballads (1898) poems
  • Gwenevere: Lyric Play (1905)
  • Lays of the Round Table (1905) poems
  • The Masque of the Grail (1908)
  • Enid: a lyric play written for music (1908)
  • London: The Story of the City (1909)
  • Lyric Poetry (1913) criticism
  • English Fairy Tales (1913) with Grace Little Rhys
  • The Leaf-Burners (1918) poems
  • The Growth of Political Liberty (1921)
  • Lost in France (1924) poems
  • Blackhorse Pit (1925) novel
  • Everyman Remembers (1931) autobiography
  • Rhymes for Everyman (1933) poems
  • Letters from Limbo (1936)
  • Song of the Sun (1937) poems

As editor[edit]

  • with John Gwenogvryn Evans, The Text of the Bruts from the Red Book of Hergest (1890) editors
  • Fairy Gold: A book of Old English Fairy Tales (1906) editor
  • The New Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics (1914) editor
  • The Haunters and the Haunted: Ghost Stories and Tales of the Supernatural (1921) editor
  • Volume 8 of Library of World’s Best Literature Ancient and Modern, Thirty Volumes, edited by Charles Dudley Warner, R. S. Peale and J. A. Hill, publishers, 1897, contains a rather long section (47 pages, pp. 3403–3450), devoted comprehensively to Celtic literature, written by William Sharp and Rhys.


  1. ^ "RHYS, Ernest". The International Who's Who in the World. 1912. p. 893.

External links[edit]