‘I shall never come to beautiful, devouring Plas Einon again.’
In the luscious countryside of Carmarthenshire an idyllic landscape harbours dark secrets. Following four years of constant terror on the battlefields of World War One, English soldier, Captain Dick Einon-Thomas, is overjoyed to find he has inherited a country estate in Wales. His good fortune comes at the expense of others, however. The property of cousins killed in battle, Plas Einon is entailed upon the nearest male heir and in order to take possession Dick must turn his spinster cousin Gwenllian out of her home. Having managed the estate singlehandedly during the war, Gwenllian is not about to give up her beloved house, her perceived inheritance and her duty to her ‘race’ without a fight.
In the darkest and most disturbing of her novels, Hilda Vaughan examines relationships with property, tradition and inheritance and explores the lengths to which the dispossessed Welsh woman must go in order to regain what has been taken from her.
Hilda Vaughan (1892-1985) was born in Builth Wells. Her work in the Women’s Land Army during the First World War fostered an admiration for strong female characters that informs the ten novels, one novella, the short stories and the plays she went on to write. This new edition of The Soldier and the Gentlewoman (first published in 1932) includes an introduction by Dr Lucy Thomas, who completed a PhD on the novels of Hilda Vaughan at Cardiff University.