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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 December, 2004, 06:58 GMT
Map of Dylan's Llareggub on show
Dylan Thomas' map of Llareggub
The map was bought from the Dylan Thomas Estate
Fifty years after the first broadcast of Under Milk Wood, a map drawn by Dylan Thomas of the village in the play has been put on display.

Thought to be the only drawing of the fictional Llareggub, it has been bought by the National Library of Wales.

Seven personal items, including Thomas' passport and letters from his American contacts, give vivid glimpses of the Welsh poet's life.

The archive, in Aberystwyth, will be on display until next month.

His scribbled notes can also be seen on some of the letters, where the names of racehorses compete with notes for chest linctus.

They will be of great interest to the general public as well as to specialists
Dr Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, National Library of Wales

Other papers relating to his death list arrangements for the return of his body to Wales and include a copy of the death certificate and of the American undertaker's bill.

"The National Library of Wales is delighted to have acquired for the nation this important and little-known group of papers from the Dylan Thomas Estate," said Dr Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, head of the library's manuscripts unit.

"They will be of great interest to the general public as well as to specialists."

It is the map of Llareggub, however, that will interest most of Thomas' fans worldwide. The village name is a play on words and gains a whole new meaning when read backwards.

The rough sketch lists Under Milk Wood characters Polly Garter, Nogood Boyo and Lord Cut Glass living as neighbours in Donkey Street, with the Waldos at Cockle Street which runs parallel to it.

The sea, complete with a roughly-sketched boat, borders the two streets. The chapel marks one end of Coronation Street, the school and town hall the other.

The national library said the hand-drawn map revealed how Thomas envisaged the setting for his cast of familiar but eccentric characters.

On the drawing, Thomas even spells Llareggub, Llanreggub, which was obviously changed later.

His passport, marked 'deceased,' comes complete with stamps for the United States, Iran and Czechoslovakia.

Dylan Thomas' passport
The passport is one of seven personal items purchased by the national library

There is also a letter, dated December 1953, from Margaret Taylor to Stuart Thomas - one of the trustees of the Dylan Thomas Estate - listing the support she had given to the poet.

The owner of the Boat House, in Laugharne, where the Thomases lived, she offers to sell it to Thomas' widow, Caitlin, for 1,350.

Born in Swansea, Thomas died in New York on 9 November 1953. He was 39.

He is Wales' best-known literary figure, and one of the world's most famous poets. His admirers include former US President Bill Clinton.

Under Milk Wood is regarded as Thomas' most famous work, and was broadcast for the first time in 1954.




SEE ALSO:
Morrissey buys Dylan Thomas' local
22 Apr 04 |  South West Wales
City launches Dylan tours
17 Jun 03 |  South West Wales


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