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New festival honours Mold author Daniel Owen

Daniel Owen statue
A statue of the author stands outside Mold's library

A new festival to honour Mold's Daniel Owen, often described as the Welsh Dickens, takes place in his home town.

Events take place in locations which would have been familiar to the author, including the chapel he attended, Bethesda.

The Pentan pub, formerly the tailor's shop where Owen worked, will host the highlight of the festival, the launch of the first English translation of Enoc Huws, his best-known novel.

One of the translators of the novel, John Mainwaring, said: "The original idea to publish Enoc Huws in English came when I tried to find an English copy to compare it with the Welsh version I'd read and discovered there wasn't one available."

Mr Mainwaring read the book in Welsh first: "I started reading Daniel Owen's Enoc Huws as part of an A-level, life-long learning course with Bangor University.

"Having grown up in the area it was enthralling to read about a world that was so local and recognisable but set in a bygone era.

"I found the characters engaging and interesting and Owen's sense of humour shone through to me," he said.

Y Pentan in Mold
The tailors shop where Daniel Owen worked is now a pub named after one of his books

His decision to publish the English translation of Enoc Huws sparked the idea for the festival celebrating all of Daniel Owen's works and involving many of Mold's community groups.

Owen was born in 1836 into a mining family. His father and two of his brothers were killed in a mining accident when he was very young.

He went to Bala Theological College with the intention of entering the ministry as a preacher but didn't complete the course.

Instead he worked as a tailor in Mold, preaching on Sundays, and wrote novels including Rhys Lewis and Gwen Tomos, which led to him being called the Welsh Dickens.

Mr Mainwaring hopes the festival will become a regular event: "It's my generation's turn - especially the English speaking community - to get to know about Owen and his work.

"The festival is a brilliant excuse for communities to get together as the nights draw in during the autumn, to have a good time, whilst celebrating one of the nation's great sons," he said.

The programme for the festival, 17-23 October, also includes heritage walks, live performances to bring Owen's characters to life and music events.




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Audio slideshow: Daniel Owen's Mold
20 Oct 10 |  Arts & Culture

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