Eluned Morgan represents a significant period for Welsh nationalism. Born in 1870 on board a ship bringing colonists from Wales to the newly-founded Welsh Colony in Patagonia, Eluned belonged to two Welsh worlds: the old motherland and the new colony. This duality not surprisingly is evident in her writing in the emphasis she places on roots. Civilization was also an important concept as she observed social standards in Wales and Patagonia and the relationship between the Welsh and Spanish colonizers and the colonized indigenous tribes of Patagonia. Ironically, considering the Welsh’s uncomfortable position as colonizers, she realized that the Europeans had a detrimental effect on native culture, and portrayed a romanticized symbiotic relationship between the Welsh settlers and the Teheulches tribe.
She was also alive to man’s destructive influence on the environment. Dringo’r Andes (Climbing the Andes, 1904) and Gwymon y Môr (Seaweed, 1909) are creative travel journals, the former chronicles a horse ride to the Andes, and the latter recounts a return sea voyage from London to Patagonia.
Despite her characteristic (and unfounded) anxiety that her written Welsh was inferior, Eluned’s style is lively, perceptive and personal, and her themes remain relevant today. She died in 1938.