Gazebo

Needing a view of the elements author Richard Hughes (see Castle House) began writing In Hazard - a novel about a ship caught in a hurricane - in this room in the summer of 1936. It was partly inspired by a great storm the previous January when the Ulysses ran aground off the coast of Swansea. Hughes, a proficient sailor, commandeered a crew and went to the aid of the vessel. In difficult seas he unloaded the 3 dead and 4 injured. When published in 1938 In Hazard was hailed as a masterpiece; alas it is largely forgotten today. Hughes kept his boat, The Tern, in Laugharne and enjoyed the company of local fishermen. Under his presidency the Laugharne Regatta was restored to the calendar in 1936 after several years absence. The event is still held every June.

Dylan Thomas, a house guest of Hughes and fellow sea-lover compiled his adolescent memoirs Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (a title suggested by Hughes) here in 1940. A 1941 letter to Vernon Watkins describes the room a '...romantic dirty summerhouse overlooking the marsh.' He fuelled his writing with wine from Hughes' cellar in the castle and when the loss was discovered Dylan blamed it on some Territorial Army soldiers encamped nearby. Hughes said of Dylan and Laugharne, '...he revelled like an intoxicated whirligig in the profoundly humane eccentricities of that unparalleled little township: they ran in at his five senses and out at his mouth day and night.' In later years Hughes said Dylan, '...may have sponged on us economically, but spiritually it was more the other way round.'



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