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Caradoc Evans: Wasps

Another vicious satire on his fellow Welsh. Set in the village of Red Ford, Evans pillories the local inhabitants. His compatriots were the clay-cold men and fever-eyed women of the gentry and many of them were the unsound children of unions between cousins and some of more abominable unions. The women were faithless and those who loved not one another made love-toys of chauffeur-gardeners and handymen and clergymen but they … chose no lover from the lowly ranks of chapellers; the men were faithful because they were weaklings and because they drank themselves into silliness… And that’s just the gentry, who come off marginally better than the rest in Evans’ demonology. Rhys Pugh is the local vicar. The other main characters are Bill Blake, a petty thief, and Dan Kingdom, a local farmer. David George – same surname as the Welsh Prime Minister, Lloyd George, as Evans reminds us more than once – is one of the local gentry who helps the local farmers with their legal troubles, while his sister, Bella, is shacked up with the local politician. These, and the rest of the cast of characters, are mercilessly satirised as avaricious, greedy, selfish, hypocritical and immoral. It’s not surprising that Evans was not welcomed at home.

Publishing history

First published 1933 by Rich and Cowan