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Absolute Optimist

Absolute Optimist

Menna Elfyn

Remembering Eluned Phillips

This is an affectionate and yet critical biography of Eluned Phillips (1914 – 2009), an unsung heroine of Welsh literature, who led an incredible life at a time of great change – taking her from rural Carmarthenshire to bohemian Paris and urbane Los Angeles across the majority of the 20th Century.

Eluned was a controversial figure, a passionate woman who ignited passionate responses in others, not always to her own benefit! She was only the second women to have won the National Eisteddfod crown and the only woman ever to have won it twice (1967 and 1983). Eluned Phillips was unusual among Welsh writers of her generation in that she embraced a bohemian lifestyle which took her to pre-war London and Paris, where she made the acquaintance of such major artists as Augustus John, Dylan Thomas, Edith Piaf, Jean Cocteau, Maurice Chevalier and Pablo Picasso, the last of whom showed her the unfinished ‘Guernica’ with the paint still wet on the canvas.

Publication Date


19 July 2018


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