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OWEN, DANIEL (1836 - 1895), nofelydd | Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig

OWEN, DANIEL (1836 - 1895), nofelydd

Enw: Daniel Owen
Dyddiad geni: 1836
Dyddiad marw: 1895
Rhyw: Gwryw
Galwedigaeth: nofelydd
Maes gweithgaredd: Llenyddiaeth ac Ysgrifennu
Awdur: Katherine Williams

G. 20 Hydref 1836 yn 53 Maes y Dref, yr Wyddgrug, sir y Fflint, yr ieuengaf o chwech o blant. Glöwr oedd y tad, a chollodd ef a dau fab eu bywydau pan dorrodd dŵr i waith glo Argoed. Hanfyddai ei fam o deulu ‘Twm o'r Nant.’ Ychydig o addysg a gafodd Daniel Owen pan oedd yn fachgen, a phan oedd yn 12 oed prentisiwyd ef yn deiliwr am bum mlynedd. Bu'n gweithio am 10 mlynedd wedyn gyda'i hen feistr. Dechreuodd bregethu yn 1864, yr un pryd â'r athro Ellis Edwards. Mae'n debyg fod ei addysg fore yn gyffelyb i'r disgrifiad o addysg a geir gan ‘Robyn y Sowldiwr’ yn Rhys Lewis. Yr oedd ei waith yn siop y teiliwr yn gyfle iddo ddyfod i adnabod pobl ac i ddadlau ar wahanol bynciau, ac y mae ôl y profiad hwn ar ei nofelau. Hefyd, yr oedd cyfarfodydd cystadleuol yn y dref. Yr adeg hon, cyfieithodd Twelve Nights in a Bar Room, nofel Americanaidd, a chyhoeddwyd y cyfieithiad mewn cylchgrawn pythefnosol o'r enw Charles o'r Bala. Ysgrifennodd hefyd ddisgrifiadau o gymeriadau o'r dref i gylchgrawn o'r De, a cheir rhai ohonynt yn Straeon y Pentan. Ysgrifennai i bapurau Cymraeg a Saesneg yr un amser. Dysgodd elfennau cerddoriaeth ac yr oedd yn ganwr da fel ei dad. Yr oedd yn 23 mlwydd oed cyn mynd yn aelod eglwysig, er ei fod yn gapelwr cyson. Aeth i Goleg y Bala yn 1865. Ni ddisgleiriodd fel myfyriwr, ond darllenai lawer o lenyddiaeth Saesneg. Gadawodd y coleg braidd yn sydyn yn 1867 i fyned adref i edrych ar ôl ei fam a'i chwaer a oedd yn wael. Aeth yn ôl at ei hen feistr i weithio fel teiliwr. Yna dechreuodd gadw ei fusnes ei hun, ond daliodd i bregethu. Yn 1876 rhoes orau i bregethu oherwydd i'w iechyd dorri; ni allai annerch cynulleidfa. Ond gwellhaodd yn araf. Yna, ar argymhelliad Roger Edwards, dechreuodd ysgrifennu rhai o'i bregethau a nifer o frasluniau o gymeriadau Methodistaidd i'r Drysorfa, o dan y teitl ‘Offrymau Neilltuaeth.’ Cytunodd, wedyn ar gais yr un gŵr i sgrifennu'r Dreflan i'w chyhoeddi bob yn bennod. Wedyn ysgrifennodd ei nofel, Hunangofiant Rhys Lewis, bob yn bennod i'r Drysorfa rhwng 1882 a 1885. Wedyn cyhoeddwyd Enoc Huws a Gwen Tomos yn Y Cymro, papur wythnosol a gyhoeddid yn Lerpwl. Bu f. Hydref 1895.

Cyn Daniel Owen, ni ellir dweud i ddim pwysig ymddangos ym myd y nofel Gymraeg, yn yr ystyr a roddwn i nofel heddiw. Disgrifio'r gymdeithas Gymreig a droai o gwmpas y capel a wnaeth ef yn Rhys Lewis, Enoc Huws, a'r Dreflan, a'r gymdeithas wledig yn Gwen Tomos, a disgrifio'r aelodau unigol y tu fewn i'r gymdeithas honno. Ni ddangosodd dwf a datblygiad y cymeriadau, na gadael iddynt weithio allan eu tynged, eithr disgrifiodd hwynt yn fanwl fel yr oeddynt. Y manylrwydd hwn sy'n rhoddi gwerth ar ei waith, a dyry lawer iawn o le i siarad a dadlau rhwng y cymeriadau — dylanwad y seiat, yn ôl Saunders Lewis . Ei wendid mwyaf, efallai, yw ceisio cael cwlwm i'w nofelau, a methu ei ddatod yn naturiol. Er bod llawer o'i gymeriadau yn bobl a adwaenai yn y cnawd, eto ei greadigaethau ef ydynt fel y cawn hwynt ganddo. Hyd yma, ef yw ein nofelydd mwyaf o ran ansawdd ei waith, ac ef a sgrifennodd fwyaf hefyd.

Heblaw'r gweithiau a enwyd uchod ysgrifennodd Daniel Owen Y Siswrn, 1888. Cafwyd cyfieithiadau i'r Saesneg o Rhys Lewis yn 1889 ac o Enoc Huws yn 1894-6.

Awdur

Dyddiad cyhoeddi: 1953-54

Hawlfraint Erthygl: