(Please note that “context” is not an assessed element of this component of the WJEC GCSE in English Literature.)
Janet Eiluned Lewis was born near Newtown in Montgomeryshire (now Powys) in November 1900. Her family was well off, cultured, and educated; for example, Lewis’s Welsh-speaking mother earned a Master’s degree, had been a headmistress, and was friends with the creator of Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie. Lewis was educated at boarding school and college in London, and worked in journalism for most of her life, notably as a member of the editorial staff of The Sunday Times and as a long-term contributor to Country Life magazine (1944–1979).
Her first literary success was the novel Dew on the Grass, which was a bestseller on its publication in 1934 and won the Gold Medal of the Book Guild for the best novel of the year. Her second novel, The Captain’s Wife, came out in 1943 and was also ‘immediately popular, being reprinted twice within a matter of months’. Between these novels Lewis published her first collection of poetry, December Apples, in 1935, and a collaborative, non-fiction book with her brother Peter Lewis, entitled The Land of Wales, in 1937, which depicted the landscape and people of her native country.
Lewis’s second, and final, collection of poetry was published in 1944, called Morning Songs and Other Poems. According to literary critic Katie Gramich, Lewis’s poems are ‘lyrical and song-like, almost invariably expressing a sense of loss, nostalgia or longing’.
Lewis married in 1937 and moved to rural Surrey, where she lived until her death in April 1979. Despite the success of her literary career in the 1930s and 1940s, Lewis’s fame waned over the following decades; however, her novels have been republished recently amid a new scholarly interest in female Welsh writers of the twentieth century.
 Katie Gramich, Introduction to The Captain’s Wife by Eiluned Lewis (Dinas Powys: Honno, 2012), p. ii.
 Katie Gramich, Twentieth-Century Women’s Writing in Wales: Land, Gender, Belonging (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007), p. 84.