John Ellis Williams

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John Ellis Williams (20 August 1924 – 7 December 2008) was a novelist and writer, writing in both English and Welsh.


Williams was born in Llanddeiniolen, Caernarfonshire, on 20 August 1924, and was from a farming family.

In World War II he served with the Royal Air Force.

After the war, his interest in the Existentialist movement led to him corresponding with Simone de Beauvoir and visiting her in Paris.[1] As well as his novels, Williams wrote both fiction and non-fiction for various journals. His autobiography, Clouds of Times and other stories, was published in 1989. He was lead consultant for a film about his uncle, Ellis Williams, which was broadcast on S4C in 2006.[1] Williams was elected an Ovate (green robe) of the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Cardiff on 8 August 2008 for his substantial contribution to the field of literature in Wales.

Selected publications[edit]


  • Bryndu Mawr (Glasgoed Eisteddfod Chair, 1959) (later serialised in Herald Cymraeg, 1959)
  • Hadau Gwyllt (Gwasg Gee, 1968)
  • Modd i Fyw (Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru, 1968)
  • Yr Ynys Wydr (Cyhoeddiadau Modern, 1969)
  • Gwynt i Oen (Gwasg Gwynedd. 1970)
  • Paul Jones a’r Tywysog (Gwasg Gee, 1975)
  • Wrth Ddychwel (Cyhoeddiadau Mei, 1982)
  • Nes Adref (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 1996)

Other fictional/semi-fictional works[edit]

  • Straeon Cyfar Main (Cyhoeddiadau Mei, 1985) dramatised on BBC Radio Cymru
  • Dychweliad y Deryn Mawr (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 1990)
  • Rare Welsh Bits (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 2001)

Children's stories[edit]

  • Elwd y Teiliwr Bach (Gwasg Gee, 1966)
  • Owen the Goat of Snowdon (PeniPrint, 1981)
  • Chwedlau Siôn ac Eleri (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 1992)


  • Clouds of Time and Other Stories (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 1989) (Initially serialised in Welsh in Pais magazine and in English on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Wales and in The Countryman). "Clouds of Time" itself, first published in Welsh as "Cymylau Amser", is the life story of Williams's mother, Jane Rowland Jones, and how both she and her future husband sheltered a deserter from the trenches during World War I.


  1. ^ a b "News Archive: Williams, John Ellis". Academi. Archived from the original on 19 May 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2014.