Kate Roberts

Roberts, Kate

Kate Roberts (1891-1985) was a major figure in twentieth century Welsh literature. She was born and raised in Rhosgadfan, Caernarfon in north Wales during the heyday of the slate industry. She quarried her own idiom from the local Welsh dialect and from her reading of Welsh literature at the University of Wales, Bangor. She became a teacher, married in 1928, and spent a time in south Wales. Subsequently, she and her husband bought Gwasg Gee (Gee Press) and settled in Dinbych in north Wales. Kate Roberts was widowed in 1946, but ran Gwasg Gee alone for a further ten years, publishing and contributing to Y Faner, an influential periodical. Her work falls into two distinct periods. The first deals with the community she knew as a child. It depicts a life of austerity alleviated by faith and by social cohesion. The second period tends to concentrate on personal isolation in a world of plenty. Kate Roberts wrote about children, but had none herself. She is also remembered as a critic and political activist.