The Secret Room

The Secret Room (Y Stafell Ddirgel) (1969) is a novel by Marion Eames about the founding of Quakerism in Wales.  A blend of history and fiction, it depicts the initial Welsh contacts with Friends, the subsequent persecutions and the decision to immigrate to Pennsylvania.  Its central character is Rowland Ellis, a local gentry and the owner of Bryn Mawr farm.  “The Secret Room” refers to the place in the heart in which the Inner Light is encountered.  Eames wrote The Secret Room in Welsh while Margaret Phillips translated it into English.  In 2001 BBC Wales featured a television adaptation of the book.  The Fair Wilderness (Y Rhandir Mwyn), a sequel, recounts the settling of Welsh Friends in Pennsylvania.

I found The Secret Room a lively read.  It gave me a sense of how it must have been for Friends in the early period of Quakerism.

                                                                                       Gary Sandman

July 2024

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