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Description

Without doubt, the love-poem 'Myfanwy Fychan o Gastell Dinas Bran' (Myfanwy Fychan of Dinas Bran Castle) by John Ceiriog Hughes (1832-87) was one of the most popular Welsh poems of the Victorian era. The poem was successful at the Llangollen Eisteddfod of 1858 and made a great impression on the people of Wales for many years to come. It was described by one commentator as 'the finest, as it is the longest, of his [Ceiriog's] love poems ... Its effect was instantaneous and irresistible; everyone, sinner and saint alike, felt it was poetry - love - everything, indeed, that was good and graceful in form and feeling'.

Ceiriog was born in Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog, Denbighshire. After working in Manchester and later as a railway clerk in London he returned to Wales in 1868 when he was appointed station-master at Caersws. Ceiriog had begun composing poetry as a young man, but it was not until 1860 that his first volume was published, entitled 'Oriau'r Hwyr'. Further volumes quickly followed, including 'Oriau'r Bore' (1862) and 'Cant o Ganeuon' (1863), which contained some of his most popular work. His songs in particular were extremely popular and some, such as 'Nant y Mynydd' and 'Alun Mabon' continue to be sung and recited at eisteddfodau and concerts.

Source: Hywel Teifi Edwards, 'Ceiriog' (Caernarfon, 1987).

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