The Writers of Wales Database



Stephen KnightStephen Knight is Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University. He is the author of many essays, including analyses of Raymond Williams, Gwyn Thomas and Rhys Davies. Stephen has written books on a range of topics in medieval cultural studies, notably Arthurian Literature and Society, Geoffrey Chaucer and Robin Hood. His title Robin Hood: a Mythic Biography (Cornell University Press, 2003) won the International Mythopoeic Society Award for Non-Fiction in 2004. Stephen has also written widely on both crime fiction and Welsh fiction in English. In 2002 he was given the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award for services to Australian Crime fiction. Stephen is currently working on a book on the mythic biography of Merlin.

He teaches undergraduate courses on ‘Medieval Arthurian Literature’ and on ‘The Robin Hood Tradition’, an MA course on Modern Arthurian Literature, and supervises PhD theses across a range of topics.


With respect to A Hundred Years of Fiction: Writing Wales in English (University of Wales Press, 2004)

“…As the first critical study of twentieth-century English-language fiction from Wales, A Hundred Years of Fiction is an indispensable contribution to the field . . . one can but hope that an intelligent, well-argued study such as A Hundred Years of Fiction will inform opinion and provoke wider discussion of post-colonial Wales, at home and abroad..”

With respect to Merlin: Knowledge and Power Through the Ages (Cornell University Press, 2010)

“…Knight shows real familiarity with the major traditions relating to the figure of Merlin and to Arthurian literature in general-which is no mean feat when covering such a large body of material…”
Alan Lupack

”…Knight’s interpretations of the Arthurian sources and characters are provocative and stimulating. Knight displays much erudition herein and evaluates the literary material in new and interesting ways…”
Christopher A. Snyder

Selected Publications:
Form and Ideology in Crime Fiction (Indiana University Press, 1981)
Arthurian Literature and Society (Palgrave Macmillan, 1983)
Geoffrey Chaucer (Blackwell, 1986)
Robin Hood: A Complete Study of the English Outlaw (Blackwell, 1994)
Continent of Mystery: A Thematic History of Australian Crime Fiction (Melbourne University Press, 1997)
British Industrial Fictions (University of Wales Press, 1999)
Robin Hood: The Forresters Manuscript (D.S. Brewer, 2001)
Crime Fiction 1800-2000 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003)
Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography (Cornell University Press, 2003)
A Hundred Years of Fiction: Writing Wales in English (University of Wales Press, 2004)
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood: Of Great Renown, in Nottinghamshire (Signet Classics, 2006)
Merlin: Knowledge and Power Through the Ages (Cornell University Press, 2010)
The Mysteries of the Cities: Urban Crime Fiction in the Nineteenth Century  (Macfarland & Co Inc, 2011)

A Hundred Years of Fiction: Writing Wales in English (University of Wales Press, 2004)

A Hundred Years of FictionA Hundred Years of Fiction is the first book to explore and analyse the Anglophone fiction of Wales in the twentieth century. Stephen Knight looks at writers who deal with Welsh life and issues, ranging from Allen Raine to Christopher Meredith, and asks how they relate to the determining forces of their period and contexts, from the economy and politics to concepts of Welsh identity and the pressures of a colonial situation.

The book deals with colonial and touristic fiction from the late nineteenth century on. It shows how writing about the industrial settlement broke with a colonized viewpoint and working-class authors like Jack Jones, Lewis Jones and Gwyn Thomas realized with verve and embattled anger the situation on the coalfield - though some reversed that pattern into industrial romance. After the Second World War, writers increasingly wrote about a Wales that sought self-sufficiency, and many of them, often Welsh-speaking like Emyr Humphreys, Menna Gallie, and Christopher Meredith, sought to integrate some of the native traditions with the English language culture in which they wrote. At the end of the twentieth century there is a surge of Welsh writers in English, often now published in Wales, who are aware of their status as writers contributing to the self-awareness of an increasingly independent-minded country.

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