Iris Gower

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Iris Davies (1935 – 20 July 2010), pen name Iris Gower, was a novelist, noted for her many historical romances, most of which are set in the British seaport of Swansea and the adjacent Gower Peninsula, from which she took her nom-de-plume.[1]



Iris Richardson was born in 1935 in Swansea,[2] the sister of Billy, Jean, John and Christine. Her family lived in Swansea city centre, but afterwards moved to Mayhill, where Iris met pattern-maker, William Tudor Davies.

She and Davies married on Iris's 21st birthday. The couple settled in Manselton, Swansea, and had four children - Tudor junior, Angela, Susan and Paul.

As a young woman she worked as a nursery teacher and took other part-time jobs; but began writing in her twenties and had several stories published in magazines, such as Woman's Own and Jackie. She published her first novel, Tudor Tapestry in 1974, but it was the success of her novel, Copper Kingdom (1983), that put her on the world's best-seller lists. This was one of many novels set in the copper, pottery and other industries of Swansea or in the rural life of Gower.

Iris Gower was awarded an MA in Creative Writing by Cardiff University, as well as an Honorary Fellowship at Swansea University (1999). She wrote and published around 40 books, including 26 novels.

In the latter part of her career she and her husband settled at Derwen Fawr, Swansea. But on 15 April 2002 her husband of 48 years died after suffering a stroke. Later Iris lived with a partner, Peter Snadden, and continued writing.

She was always interested in fostering the work of other writers. She became a patron of the Year of Literature in Swansea, and at the Swansea Writers' Circle welcomed and encouraged the novelist Catrin Collier.

Gower died at Singleton Hospital, Swansea, on 20 July 2010. She was 75 years old.[1]



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