: A Novel and Critical Commentary

  • Thomas Matthew Bird

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Bordersands is a crime-thriller set in and around the Flintshire lowlands in northeast Wales written in response to M. Wynn Thomas’s notion that the region has yet to capture the public and literary imagination. By asking what it means to be from the Flintshire lowlands and the places contained within it – such as Holywell and the Greenfield Valley –, the novel explores notions of place, belonging and displacement. In addition to presenting the Flintshire lowlands as a place with its own distinctive character, it shows that there are multiple notions of a given place, highlighting the complexities of what it means to be both ‘inhabitant’ and ‘visitor.’ The critical commentary explores other fictional representations of the Flintshire lowlands, and in relation to Bordersands shows how Flintshire-born writers have portrayed place and asks whether such portrayals have been used to raise awareness of the region’s local history, geography, cultural identity, and relationship with the Welsh language. Furthermore, it discusses how variations of the Welsh regional novel can provide wider explorations of belonging and place through the crime-thriller genre, and, in relation to my own regional thriller, how this genre can be used to provide both a balanced and authentic sense of place.
Date of Award27 May 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorJacqueline Yallop (Supervisor) & David Phillipp Towsey (Supervisor)

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