Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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NEPEAN (née BELLIS ), MARY EDITH ( 1876 - 1960 ), novelist ;

b. at Llandudno, Caern. in 1876 , daughter of John Bellis , a Caernarfonshire county councillor , and Mary , his wife. She was educated at home, studying art with Robert Fowler , and later showed her work at a number of exhibitions. She m. in 1899 Molyneux Edward Nepean , of a family of high-ranking civil servants, and resided in England , moving in literary circles in London . In 1932 she accused Caradoc Evans (see above) of libelling her in his novel Wasps ( 1933 ), and the book had to be altered before publication. She also took part in public life, being Commandant of a section of the Red Cross in Kent , and travelled in the Near East and the Balkans , taking a particular interest in the life of the gypsies of Transylvania .

Her first novel, Gwyneth of the Welsh Hills ( 1917 ), showed the influence of both Allen Raine ( Anne Adalisa Puddicombe , DWB , 810) and Caradoc Evans . A further 34 light romantic novels followed, almost all with Welsh settings or characters, and she wrote one book based on her travels, Romance and realism in the Near East ( 1933 ), as well as much popular journalism. Her husband d. in 1948 . She d. 23 March 1960 and was buried in the Great Orme cemetery , Llandudno .


  • Who was who? ;
  • T. Ll. Williams , Caradoc Evans (Cardiff, 1970) (1970) , 93-4;
  • Llandudno and District Advertiser , 26 March and 2 Apr. 1960 .


Sally Roberts Jones, Port Talbot

Published date: 2001