Border Country

Raymond Williams' first novel, Border Country, was published in 1960 and was re-published in 2005 as part of Parthian’s Library of Wales series of Welsh classics fallen out of print.

The novel recounts the experiences of Matthew Price, a London-based academic, as he returns to his family home to visit his ailing father. Upon his return, Matthew is once again a railwayman’s son, and, through lengthy flashbacks to the past, the socio-economic backdrop of the South Wales coalfield comes to life as a significant point of divergence for Matthew’s later career. By looking back, the novel presents the history and social changes of the rapidly-changing industrial spaces during the mid-twentieth century. The novel maintains its focus on the personal relationship between father and son, oscillating between change and stasis, exploring the people they were and the people they are now.