Geraint Goodwin (1903-1941)

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Arthur Geraint Goodwin (1 May 1903 – 10 October 1942) was a Welsh novelist and short story writer. He was born in the village of Llanllwchaearn, on the outskirts of Newtown, Montgomeryshire, the son of Richard Goodwin (1862–1911) and Mary Jane (Watkin, née Lewis) Goodwin (1862–1943). His father died when he was eight and his mother married the almost twenty years younger Frank Humphreys when he was twelve. This was both his mother's third and Humpreys' second marriage. Goodwin apparently got on well with his stepfather and Frank Humphreys' and his mother's love of the out-of-doors, especially fishing and rough shooting, were to be an important influence on him.He attended Tywyn County School as a boarder from age thirteen and when he left school initially worked on The Montgomeryshire Express. Then in 1923 he moved to London to work in a News Agency and later as a reporter for The Daily Sketch. Goodwin's stepfather had two sons, around Goodwin's age, who had become journalists.In 1930 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent several months in a sanitorium. Then in October, 1932 he married a fellow journalist from Yorkshire, Rhoda Storey (1902–1991). Out of his experience of TB came his first novel, the autobiographical Call Back Yesterday (1935). The success of this novel led to Cape offering him a contract for two further books and Goodwin and his family moved to Hertfordshire and he became a full-time writer. Following Goodwin's Call Back Yesterday in 1936 came his most acclaimed work, The Heyday in the Blood. This novel contrasts the old and declining ways of a village on the Welsh Border with new ways of England, where many migrate, and is a vibrant work of both tragedy and farcical comedy. In 1938 they moved to Corris, near Dolgellau, where Goodwin wrote his last novel Come Michaelmas (1939), which is set in a barely disguised Newtown. The same year he became ill again and spent sometime in the sanitarium at Talgarth, on the edge of The Black Mountains.While the family moved to Montgomery, Montgomeryshire, Geraint Goodwin's health continued to deteriorate and he died aged 38 from tuberculosis in Montgomery, survived by his wife and a son and a daughter.As Kate Gramich comments, although he left only "a handful of novels and short stories" these are works which "are still extraordinarily fresh and vigorous". In 1975 The Heyday in the Blood was translated into Welsh.

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