MORGAN, CHARLES LANGBRIDGE ('Menander'; 1894 - 1958), drama critic, novelist, playwright

Name: Charles Langbridge Morgan
Pseudonym: Menander
Date of birth: 1894
Date of death: 1958
Spouse: Hilda Campbell Morgan (née Vaughan)
Child: Elizabeth Shirley Vaughan Paget (née Morgan)
Child: Roger Morgan
Parent: Mary Morgan (née Watkins)
Parent: Charles Langbridge Morgan
Gender: Male
Occupation: drama critic, novelist, playwright
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Performing Arts
Author: Mary Auronwy James

Born 22 January 1894, youngest child of Sir Charles Langbridge Morgan, engineer, and Mary (née Watkins) his wife. His grandparents had emigrated from Pembrokeshire to Australia where his parents were married. He was trained in the Royal Navy from 1907 and became a naval officer, but he resigned in 1913 to lead a literary life, though he returned to serve in the navy during both World Wars. He entered Brasenose College, Oxford, 1919, and graduated, 1921. He then joined the staff of The Times, becoming well-known as its principal drama critic, 1926-39. He received many honorary degrees; was one of the select foreign members of l'Institut de France; was elected president of the English Association, 1953-54, and of the International Literary Congress for Authors, 1954-56. With the exception of his first two novels, he produced a continuous sequence of literary masterpieces. His novels and plays were particularly artistic, of profound significance, and of great and varied narrative power. Portrait in a Mirror (1929) was awarded the Femina-Vie Heureuse prize; The Fountain (1932) the Hawthornden prize; and The Voyage (1940) the James Tait Black memorial book prize. A dramatised version of The River Line (1949) was produced at the Edinburgh Festival in 1952.

He lived most of his life in London. Possibly his closest connections with Wales came through his wife, Hilda Campbell Vaughan of Builth Wells, a novelist whom he married 6 June 1923 and by whom he had a son Roger and daughter (the Marchioness of Anglesey). His first play The Flashing Stream (1938) was written during a holiday spent at Llangorse Lake, Breck. Two long periods were spent in Pembrokeshire also, when A breeze of morning (1951) was written. He wrote a history of Macmillans (publishers) (1943); a collection of his lectures and essays was published posthumously in The writer and his world (1960). He died 6 February 1958.


Published date: 2001

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