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Daniel Owen (20 October, 1836 – 22 October, 1895), was a Welsh novelist, he is credited as being the foremost Welsh-language novelist of the 19th century.

Early life

Owen was born in Mold, Flintshire, into a working class family, his father, Robert Owen, being a coalminer. His father and two brothers, James and Robert, were killed on 12 May 1838 in a mining accident when the Argoed mine became flooded. The loss impacted heavily on the family who remained in poverty. Owen received no formal education, but he acknowledged his debt to his Sunday school.

At the age of 12, Owen was apprenticed to a tailor, Angel Jones, who was an elder with the Calvanistic Methodist. Owen described his apprentership as a 'kind of college', and began writing poetry after being influenced by one of his work colleagues. Owen used the tailor shop as an opportunity to discuss and argue topics with workers and customers, a theme that is evident in his novels. This style of education is recounted in his novel Rhys Lewis, given to the character 'Robyn y Sowldiwr'.

Early writings

Owen began writing poetry under the nom-de-plume Glaslwyn, entering his work into local eisteddfodau and succeeding in publishing some his work. His first significant work in Welsh was a translation of Timothy Shay Arthur's novelette Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There. Owen then trained unsuccessfully for the ministry, preaching from 1860. He intended to enter the ministry as a Methodist preacher and enrolled in Bala Theological College in 1865, but failed to complete the course. From 1867 until 1876, he worked as a tailor in Mold, preaching on Sundays.

He is credited with starting the tradition of the Welsh language novel, Rhys Lewis often being credited as the first Novel written in Welsh. He was an influence on many later novelists, such as Kate Roberts and T. Rowland Hughes. He is considered one of the greatest of Welsh language novelists, his works of fiction being:

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