Imagining Wales is a major new interpretation of literary images of Wales and Welshness in the twentieth century. It is the product of more than thirty years engagement with the subject by an English critic who has played a pioneering role in the field, and who brings to it an outsider's detachment, together with an informed and sympathetic interest. Jeremy Hooker focuses on a number of modern Welsh writers in English, including Emyr Humphreys, David Jones, John Cowper Powys, Alun Lewis, R. S. Thomas, and Gillian Clarke, in order to explore the different ways in which these writers shape visions of Wales in their work and thereby create what R. S. Thomas described as the 'true Wales of [the] imagination'. Through careful close readings of the texts under discussion, Jeremy Hooker examines the sense of imaginative possibility that these writers find in the 'border' situation between their Welsh and English inheritances and provides a significant analysis of the question of Welsh identity in the twentieth century.
Jeremy Hooker is Professor of English Literature at the University of Glamorgan. In addition to publishing literary criticism, including Writers in a Landscape (1996) and monographs on David Jones and John Cowper Powys, he is the author of 10 collections of poems, the most recent of which is Our Lady of Europe (1997).