Ann Griffiths (1776-1805), was until comparatively recently the only female poet
of any real prominence in the Welsh literary tradition. Born Ann Thomas, she
lived all her life in rural Montgomeryshire. Ann experienced evangelical
conversion aged 20 and joined the Calvinistic Methodists. She became noted for
the depth of her spirituality and began producing verses encapsulating her
insights and experiences. Of the seventy-three stanzas and eight letters
attributed to her, only one letter and one verse survive in her own hand, most
of the extant verses having been transmitted orally to her maidservant, Ruth
Evans. About two-thirds were published in early 1806, a few months after Anns
death following childbirth, and were immediately acknowledged as religious verse
of the highest order. They are characterized by a fervent subjectivism blended
with an objective wondering and a plethora of biblical allusions and typology.
The transmission of her hymns and letters has taken various forms - oral,
manuscript and print - and most recently electronically, on the ‘Ann Griffiths
Website’ in particular.