In the first and, arguably, the finest of Hilda Vaughan's ten novels the dawn of the twentieth century brings a new generation that clashes with the conservative traditionalism of an old Welsh way of life. Rhys Lloyd and his engagement with the ideas of Social Darwinism and the League of Nations make him a dangerous figure in the village. The son of a Welsh-speaking Nonconformist, his love for the church-going Esther reflects tensions that have long and bitterly divided the community. Most striking, however, is the stoic and determined Esther who calmly suffers the casual brutality of her agricultural upbringing, drawing on an inner strength and organic spirituality that would provide an archetype for Vaughan's later heroines. Despite a loving and sensitive depiction of her native Radnorshire landscape, Vaughan offers no rural idyll. The Battle to the Weak is a vividly drawn, socially engaged portrait of a small rural Welsh community with an awareness of its context within the wider world.
|Publication date:||1st November 2010|
|Categories:||Classic fiction (pre c 1945),|
Hilda Vaughan was born in 1892 in Builth Wells. She served in a Red Cross hospital during the First World War and was organising secretary of the Women's Land Army in Breconshire and Radnorshire. Vaughan attributed her intellectual awakening to her neighbour, the Squire of Cilmerry Park, S.M.P. Bligh, himself a published author. Her first novel The Battle to the Weak, published in 1925, is set in a rural Radnorshire community. Vaughan went on to write ten novels of varying style, including The Invader (1928) and The Soldier and The Gentlewoman(1932), as well as two plays and short stories, including the ...More About Hilda Vaughan