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Kate Roberts

Although Kate Roberts was an inhabitant of Rhiwbina for a short period of just two years, her influence on Welsh literature was immense and the Society felt that this warranted our third Blue Plaque at 8 Lon Isa.

Kate Roberts was born in Caernarfonshire in 1891. Her early education was challenging, as she was forced to learn through the medium of English when the language of the home was Welsh. Nevertheless, she obtained a place in Bangor University and followed this with teaching posts in Ystalyfera and Aberdare. She was an early member of the newly-formed Plaid Cymru, where she met her husband Morris. As was the legal requirement of the day, upon marriage she had to give up teaching.

It was in 1929 that they moved to 8 Lon Isa. In spite of her husband’s continued liaison with a former lover, the marriage survived through a mutual love of literature, politics and publishing: Kate and Morris ran their own press.

In 1931, the family, which now included three sons, moved to Tonypandy, and then back to Denbighshire, where Kate and Morris took over running Gwasg Gee, a successful publishing company founded in 1808. Kate continued to produce novels and short stories over a span of many years.

Kate Roberts’s literary talent won her a number of awards; politically, she remained a faithful and campaigning member of Plaid Cymru until her death at the age of 94 in 1985. 

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