Ceri Shaw


 

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Category: New Titles


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This week sees an updated 5 th  edition of a collection of Welsh folk stories republished.  Welsh Folk Tales  by Robin Gwyndaf (Y Lolfa) was originally published by the National Museum of Wales in 1989 and is an important record of the folk narrative tradition in Wales.  

The 2024 edition has been dedicated to the author’s late wife, Eleri Gwyndaf, who sadly died in 2023.  

For a period of over twenty years, Robin Gwyndaf interviewed over 2,500 informants, around 400 of them on tape. This material, both written – in books and journals – and oral testimony of around 600 hours of recordings, “gives the reader a vivid glimpse of that long and creative tradition,” as Colin Ford, Director of the National Museum of Wales, says in his foreword to the third edition in 1995.  

Welsh Folk Tales  records 63 stories from all over Wales, including ‘The islands of saints’ from Ynys Enlli, ‘The eagles of Snowdon’ from Caernarfonshire, ‘Owain Glyndŵr and the Abbot of Valle Crucis’ from Denbighshire and ‘The death of “Llywelyn our Last Prince”’ from Brecknockshire. It describes the legends and traditions and places them in their historical and social context. It also refers to the types and classification, the themes, function and meaning, as well as the value of the tales themselves. Pronunciation of Welsh words and placenames also features.  

Dr Robin Gwyndaf says:

“The need to present the history of Wales in an interesting and meaningful manner to all the inhabitants of the country and beyond, whatever their age or language, has never been more crucial. My hope is that this volume, in Welsh and English, will be a small contribution towards fulfilling a dream. It is my dream that all the people of Wales, and Welsh people living abroad – and, yes, the inhabitants of Britain also – come to appreciate the wealth of our inheritance as a nation – our native language, our literature and our culture. An intrinsic part of that vibrant, wide-ranging culture is our folk tales and folk traditions.”  

Only necessary changes have been made to the text, and the wonderful illustrations, now in colour, by artist Margaret D. Jones, who is now 105 years old, still shine in the volume. Margaret Jones was commissioned by the National Museum of Wales in 1988 to illustrate a map featuring the folk tales and traditions of Wales, to be published at the same time as the first edition of the book. Both the book and the A2 poster has been out of print for around 10 years, but will be available again this May for £9.99 each.  

The book:  Welsh Folk Tales  by Robin Gwyndaf (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.  

The A2 poster: Welsh Folk Tales by artist Margaret D. Jones, and Robin Gwyndaf, researcher and designer, (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

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This week sees the extraordinary book  Pity the Swagman: The Australian Odyssey of a Victorian Diarist  by Bethan Phillips republished. Described by the late Jan Morris as “a truly fascinating book”,  Pity the Swagman  is a classic that has been out of print for over twenty years. 

The book is the biography of Joseph Jenkins (1818-98) who was a successful farmer in Tregaron in west Wales. Without warning, aged 50, he left his farm and family to travel Australia and live as an itinerant farm labourer. His diaries returned to Wales with him and were kept by one of his daughters for over 70 years, until a chance encounter between the author and Joseph Jenkins’ great-grand-daughter. 

In his Preface to the book, Dr R. Brinley Jones, then President of the National Library of Wales, describes it as “a very moving human story” and Bethan Phillips’ work as both “readable and scholarly”.

The diary illustrates both the state of Welsh rural society at the time – with social and financial inequality between the poor and the gentry - and the corruption in parliamentary elections. The hardships endured by early migrants to Australia and the travails of the Aborigines are described, as well as the fate of the Kelly Gang. 

In her Foreword, written in 2002, Bethan Phillips says:

“The diaries reveal him as a man seeking to exorcise his own demons by attempting to escape from them, but they also reveal him as an astute observer of the people and occurrences impacting on his own eventful life. His dogged determination in keeping a daily journal, often under the most difficult of circumstances and in the most unpropitious surroundings, has given us a uniquely valuable historical record of life in the nineteenth century.” 

Bethan Phillips’ spent 15 years studying the original diaries, which covered a period of 58 years, skilfully choosing extracts from them. She also spoke to Joseph Jenkins’ descendants, still living in Ceredigion, hearing family stories, and reading further writings, including his poetry, which won prizes. She also followed Joseph Jenkins’ footsteps in Australia, which was filmed for a documentary for the BBC. 

Joseph Jenkins’ diary spanned 58 years and is celebrated as one of the richest sources of information about life in rural Australia.  Pity the Swagman  is an in-depth, authoritative study of rural life in the nineteenth century and is studied on the school curriculum in Australia. 


Pity the Swagman 
by Bethan Phillips (£16.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.

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Jac  by Sam Adams (Y Lolfa) is a novel of boyhood novel set in a south Wales Valley during the Second World War (1939-1945).

Described as “a lyrical and beautifully crafted story of growing up in the Valleys in the shadow of World War II” by poet, essayist and editor John Barnie, the novel follows Jac, a young boy at the start of the story, as he grows in awareness of the world beyond his home and family.

Author Sam Adams says:

“I wrote the novel to recall a lost age – wartime and the era of coal production in south Wales; the realities of the time. I also wanted to explore and commemorate the first steps in life outside the home, first friends and first boyhood adventures.”

The novel explores how war affected everything, including the play of children.

“The novel is semi-biographical, as I was a boy during the Second World War and grew up in a mining valley in south Wales. I have tried to recapture a time and a place which I know well,” said Sam Adams. 

Jac   by Sam Adams is available now (£9.99, Y Lolfa).



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The Appeal – The Remarkable Story of the Welsh Women’s Peace Petition 1923–24 (Y Lolfa), edited by Mererid Hopwood and Jenny Mathers.



This week sees the publication of a bilingual English/Welsh history of an amazing Petition that sought world peace. The Petition, started in Wales in the wake of World War I, asked American women to work alongside the women of Wales in the name of peace and held almost 400,000 signatures – a significant percentage of the female population of the day. 

2023 marks the petition’s centenary, and for the first time the inspiring story is available in book form,  The Appeal – The Remarkable Story of the Welsh Women’s Peace Petition 1923–24  (Y Lolfa), edited by Mererid Hopwood and Jenny Mathers. 

The various contributors to  The Appeal  recount how the petition was organized and transported to America, how it was lost and found again a century later. This account of how women challenged the establishment is told with photographs accompanying the text. 

In 2014 the text of the appeal made in 1923 saw the light of day at the Temple of Peace and Health in Cardiff. It was found as the Welsh Centre for International Affairs in Cardiff was preparing to commemorate the centenary of the First World War with their programme ‘Wales for Peace’. The peace petition called for America to join the League of Nations to prevent another war after World War I’s unprecedented slaughter.



From left to right: Gladys Thomas, Mary Ellis, Annie Hughes Griffiths and Elined Prys in Washington, DC. (NLW)



Under the leadership of Annie Jane Hughes Griffiths (of Cwrt Mawr), a delegation from Wales travelled to the USA with the aim to connect with the women of America. They presented the petition to representatives of American women’s peace organisations that together had a membership of many thousands of women, meeting with some of the most influential women in the country. They also presented it to President Calvin Coolidge at the White House, where they were warmly received. 

The Petition was found in storage at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, still kept in the impressive oak chest carved by Mr J. A. Hallam to transport it. In April 2023, in its centenary year, the Petition was returned to Wales as a gift to the nation with support from the Welsh Government. It will now reside at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth where funds from the National Heritage Lottery will make it possible to ensure that people in Wales and further afield can learn about this intriguing chapter in our history. Editors Mererid Hopwood and Jenny Mathers said:

“It is our hope that reading the story will inspire us to continue to act in the spirit of the women of Wales who imagined, organised and signed the Appeal. It offered its readers a vast vision. That vision remains as vast and as valid today.” 

In her Introduction to the book, Jill Evans, Chair of the Peace Petition Partnership Research Committee, said:

“The story of women transcending political, ideological and cultural differences to assemble and take action for peace. It is clear that there were organisers and signatories of the 1923 Petition in communities throughout Wales. One strength lay in the fact that they were inclusive and non-elitist.”



Annie Hughes Griffiths (T.I. Ellis and Mari Ellis Papers, NLW)

The Appeal will launch at 5pm on 3 November in the National Library of Wales, as part of Aberystwyth University’s 2023 Festival of Research, The Pursuit of Peace.  

The Appeal  by Mererid Hopwood and Jenny Mathers (Eds.) (£9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.



Notes



Chapter authors are Jill Evans, Aled Eirug, Catrin Stevens, Meg Elis, Eirlys Barker, Craig Owen, Sian Rhiannon and Annie Williams.

 

  1. Jill Evans – Introduction: A Century of Women’s Peace Activism in Wales
  2. Aled Eirug – The Aftermath of the Great War in Wales and the Search for Lasting Peace
  3. Catrin Stevens – “Arm in Arm” for Peace: Organising the Appeal
  4. Meg Elis and Sian Rhiannon Williams – Hands Across the Sea: Organising the Journey to America
  5. Eirlys M. Barker – Influencing America
  6. Annie Williams – Women and the Peace Movement in North Wales 1926–45
  7. Craig Owen – Rediscovering a Hidden History
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Llanelli-raised Dr Mari Morgan emigrated to the United States in 1996 to pursue a career as a classical singer.  Braids of Song: Weaving Welsh Music into the American Soul  (Y Lolfa) by Mari Morgan evokes the experiences of other Welsh people who have ventured across the Pond to follow their musical dreams. Mari Morgan asks: “Do you ever wonder what happens when a person moves to a new country? Do they change? Does the way they sing stay with the old or blend with the new? And if they are creative types – what happens to their artistic output?” 

Several voices tell their story, both real and imagined, in the book – the charismatic composer, Dr Joseph Parry from Merthyr who stages a Welsh opera in Danville, Pennsylvania; the steady but ground-breaking conductor, Dr Daniel Protheroe from Cwmgiedd who measures for a suit in Chicago; and the international concert pianist, Marie Novello from Maesteg wrapped in glamorous furs on the first-class deck of an ocean liner. 

And there’s also the author’s own story, a girl from Llanelli who founded and conducts the North American Welsh Choir. Her narrative is a medley of reflections and observations in a Welsh-American context: “I wanted to recognise the richness, humanity, and cross-fertilisation of cultures and identities that built some of the America of today – the interconnection between immigration, identity, and creativity within a Welsh Trans-Atlantic context. 

Braids of Song  is a celebration of life in stories. The idea for the book began after the death of my father on 1 March 2015. A Welsh Nonconformist minister and a man of his people, he posed two questions of me during his final weeks: ‘When are you going to write my story?’ ‘Who are you?’  Braids of Song  is my creative response to those two simple questions. The writing and research took my grief on a thrilling treasure hunt of discovery. 

“My father’s bequest of a score and story of  Arianwen  begins  Braids of Song , combined with my own experience as a Welsh musician who has lived in the United States of America for over twenty-five years, led me on an exploration of how immigration to a new country can alter a person, how the challenges and opportunities of the new are balanced with a sense of loss for the old, and how the creative output is affected in the process of assimilating to a new culture.”  



Notes



Raised in the coastal town of Llanelli, musician and writer Mari Morgan was educated at the University of Wales, Cardiff; Trinity College of Music, London; and later at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. She holds degrees in both Music and Creative Writing. She emigrated to the United States in 1996. An acclaimed classical singer with many recordings to her name, she formed and conducts Côr Cymry Gogledd America. Now a naturalized American citizen residing along the banks of the Susquehanna river in Pennsylvania, Dr Morgan divides her time between the United States and Wales.

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BUY IT HERE - The Greatest Sporting Family in History: The Blue & Black Brothers

greatest sport in history.jpg Terry  Breverton , who has been translated into languages as varied as Chinese, Japanese and Turkish, recalls the almost forgotten eight brothers who all played for Cardiff Rugby Club, when it was universally acknowledged as the ‘ greatest rugby club in the world’ . For forty years to 1974, in every season at least one of the brothers was a regular first team member, and the youngest four brothers sometimes all played together. The careers of four of the brothers were halted because of World War Two, where the eldest and ‘best’, Gwyn Williams, was carried off on a death cart but recovered, never to play again. Brother Bleddyn was a fighter pilot, pressed into service as a glider pilot, flying paratroopers for the invasion of Germany. In the 1953 New Zealand rugby tour of Great Britain, the All Blacks suffered their only defeats to Cardiff and Wales, both captained by Bleddyn. Another brother, Lloyd, captained Cardiff and Wales, as did their cousin Bill Tamplin. Their uncle Roy Roberts played with the older brothers for Cardiff and won the Military Medal. Despite the war ending 6 years of fixtures for the 4 older boys, and the next 2 having to undertake National Service, the brothers played 1,400 games for Cardiff Firsts. They grew up with four sisters in a rented terraced house in the small village of Taff’s Well – theirs is a unique story of sporting achievement, impossible to replicate.

Some 5* reader reviews include: ‘This book not only records graphically the history of Cardiff and Taff’s Wells rugby clubs, but also the first hundred years of Welsh rugby. I could not put it down as I felt that I was there on the field. It is an incredible story of eight brothers from a small village who played for Cardiff when it was the greatest club in the world. This achievement can never be repeated. It is also a valuable document recording social history of its time in Wales, a wealth of information for historians and sportspeople alike. This is  Terry   Breverton  at his very best.’ - ‘Wonderfully researched … This is an important book in the annals of rugby history, and also shines a light on the social and economic history of Cardiff, Wales and the wider UK.’ – ‘Having spent time in conversations with four of the brothers, I can highly recommend this book to lovers of the game they play in heaven.’

‘Writing about sport can be neat and academic, with scores, records, reports, lives and opinions cited to describe this game or that as a social phenomenon…This is not such a book. It’s a love letter – to rugby, to Cardiff Rugby Football Club, and to the extraordinary Williams family. For you don’t go to Cardiff Arms Park – or Bath Rec or the Brewery Field or Twickers – to watch a social phenomenon. You go to see victory snatched from the jaws of defeat, or to bear disappointment with a pint; to applaud that outside break, that tackle, that kick; to bemoan the one-eyed referee or the team selection; to be partial but generous; to complain that the game isn’t what it was … but still to follow the latest stars and stalwarts, the clowns and villains that some rugby Shakespeare has placed upon the green stage. And to honour the Williams family and Cardiff RFC,  Terry   Breverton  has turned himself into that know-all who drives you nuts, but with whom you will always go the match. The one you tell to shut up, because he goes on so – but when you want to know something, he’s the one you ask. This book is long overdue, but none the worse for it. Read it, and cheer.’



It's a bit of a doorstop, 650 pages showing why for over 100 years Cardiff were regarded as  'the greatest'  - alongside the history of the Cardiff club, Taff's Well RFC and the Welsh team to the era of Gareth and Barry in the mid-1970s.  Terry  began writing it because a few people had heard of Bleddyn Williams, but hardly anyone recalls the family. He tells  Nation Cymru  that: "Amazingly, eight brothers played rugby for Cardiff, when it was regarded as 't he greatest club in the world ' . An unknown story - two of the boys captained Cardiff and Wales, as did their cousin Bill Tamplin, who played with the famous Bleddyn Williams. Their uncle Roy Roberts also played for Cardiff with the older brothers before and after the War, winning the MM as a tank commander. The three eldest boys, Gwyn, Bryn and Bleddyn Williams fought in the War, Gwyn getting hauled off on a 'death cart' in North Africa for a desert burial, before a miraculous rescue. Gwyn was riddled with shrapnel, blinded in one eye and in pain for the rest of his days. Bleddyn risked court martial by racing to Gwyn's hospital in Oxford, talking constantly to him about their childhood and rugby, until Gwyn came around from a coma. Gwyn did not even know he was married. In his spare time, Gwyn’s Taff's Well schoolmaster selflessly threw himself into teaching Gwyn to read, write and count again. Bleddyn had trained as a fighter pilot but had to retrain, to fly paratroops through immense flak for the Rhine Crossing, as so many glider pilots had been lost at Arnhem. The rugby careers of Gwyn, Bryn and Bleddyn were put on hold for six years because of War, and the next three brothers Vaughan, Lloyd and Cenydd, lost two years for National Service.   

Despite thus losing 24 seasons of playing time, the boys played 1,480 times for Cardiff Firsts. By the time their careers ended, three were in the top 8 appearances for Cardiff - Elwyn with 339 games, Tony with 328 and Lloyd with 310. Tony and Lloyd were the only backs, the other six being forwards. The book takes us over 100 years from the founding of Taff's Well and Cardiff rugby clubs in the 19 th  century up to the mid-1970s, when the youngest two brothers, Elwyn and Tony returned to play for Taff's Well with great success. It is a UNIQUE story, never to be repeated in any team sport, with what amounts to a social history of rapidly changing times, and describing why Cardiff were acknowledged as  'the greatest ' team for a century. They played the best teams in Wales and England, and all the major touring sides, never coming close to a losing season. In many seasons they scored three to six times as many tries as their opponents, but the other teams scored more penalties. Cardiff always preferred to run the ball, the mission of the forwards being to get the ball to the backs for entertaining flowing rugby that brought record attendances wherever they played. 

We may have heard of Bleddyn, who captained Cardiff and Wales to the only two defeats of New Zealand on their 1953 tour of Britain, but there are the rugby biographies of all the brothers, their relatives Roy Roberts and Bill Tamplin, and some of the greatest men in Welsh rugby that they played alongside, for Cardiff, the Lions, Barbarians and Wales. I sometimes saw the four youngest in the same team - Lloyd (who also captained Cardiff and Wales), Cenydd, Elwyn and Tony - and this was the most difficult team to play for in British, if not world, club rugby. From 1933 to 1974, at least one brother was a regular first-choice player. Theirs is a frankly  incredible and inspiring  story of 8 brothers and 4 sisters growing up in the Depression and War. Their father was out of work as a coal tipper down Cardiff Docks for 6 years before War broke out, and they grew up in a 2.5-bedroom rented terraced house in a tiny, polluted village. 

Despite constant offers to turn professional - Bleddyn was offered a world record fee - only two 'went North'. Gwyn before the War joined Wigan, known as  'Wigan Welsh'  for their preponderance of Welsh players.

He told the press that he went to help his father financially, but three years ago I discovered that he turned professional to pay for Bleddyn's Rydal School fees. Cenydd was being touted in all the press as the next Wales outside-half or centre, but had played outside-half to rugby league legend Alex Murphy as his scrum-half for the RAF. Murphy convinced St Helens that they needed Cenydd, and he decided to go, for a record for a non-international. He and his wife were living at his in-laws' terraced house in Rhydyfelin, and the fee enabled him to buy a new four-bedroom house in a Lancashire village, with plenty of money left over. His rugby union career could have ended at any time with an injury, and he has never regretted the move. (Incidentally, turning 'professional' meant that one was paid for playing rugby, but still had a full-time job.)  In effect this is the story of the first 100 years of Welsh rugby, along with that of the Taff's Well and Cardiff clubs - a engrossing read and a riveting history of changing times."

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wales 100 words.jpg A new book published this week offers a glimpse into some special words and phrases that are unique to Wales. From well-known words such as  cwtsh hiraeth crachach  and  Jac Codi Baw  to lesser used words and phrases such as  paneidio ansparadigeaethus  and  pendramwnwgl   Wales in 100 Words  is an off-beat collection of words that are in some way unique, evocative and special. Some are ancient and derive from Early Welsh, and others like  dim gobaith caneri  draw on Wales’s rich cultural and social heritage and many like  popty-ping  and  co bach  are new-born inventive creations for the digital age.

According to Garmon Gruffudd from Y Lolfa, publishers of the book,

“We should celebrate the rich vein of ancient evocative words and phrases we have in Welsh and also use some of the inventive, often colloquial and slang words we have, rather than official unimaginative words, often slavishly translated from English. In the days of  cyfieitheg  (translateish) and Google translate I hope that this book will prove that a language is far more than just words and that some things just can’t be translated.”

Although aimed at tourists and Welsh learners  Wales in 100 Words  will also teach something new and bring a smile to the faces of people who have spoken Welsh all their lives. It is also another contribution to the never-ending discussions on the most loved words in the Welsh language.

The book includes humorous illustrations by Osian Roberts. Originally from Llanerchymedd in Anglesey, after graduating at the Manchester School of Art Osian now lives in Porth in the Rhondda valley.

Priced at £3.99, Wales in 100 Words (Y Lolfa) is available now in bookshops and  www.ylolfa.com  
 



The top 100 words in alphabetical order




Annwn, Ansparadigaethus, awen, bach, bara brith, beic berfa,bendigedig, blodyn pi pi’n gwely, bochdew, bolgi, braich hir, buwch goch gota, bwci bo, bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn, calennig, Cantre’r Gwaelod, cariad, cath i gythraul, cawl, ceiliog, cerdd dant, chwyldro, chwyrligwgan, co bach, clatsho bant, cnapan, codi sgwarnogod, crachach, cromlech, crwth, cwm plu, Cwm Sgwt, cwrwgl, cwtsh, Cymru, cynefin, cynghanedd, cythraul canu, daps, Dic Siôn Dafydd, dim gobaith caneri, dros ben llestri, dwylo blewog, echnos, eisteddfod, englyn, esgyrn eira, glo mân, gog, gorsedd, gwdihŵ, gwynt traed y meirw, hiraeth, hwncomwnco, hwntw, hwyl, iechyd da!, igam ogam, Jac Codi Baw, jiw jiw!, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll llandysulioygogogoch, ling di long, laeth mwnci, llwy garu, llwyth dyn diog, llyncu mul, MOM, mabinogion, manymanymwnci, milltir sgwâr, noson lawen, OMB!, paneidio, pendramwnwgl, pendwmpian, pengwin, Penmaenmawr, pibgorn, pili-pala, plygain, popty ping, pryd o dafod, randibŵ, Senedd, shwmai?, sinach, Sioni bob ochr, Taffia, traed dan bwrdd, twll o le, twmpath dawns, tŷ bach, y lôn goch, y pethe, y werin, y wladfa,y mab darogan, ych a fi!, yma o hyd, ynys afallon     

 

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unnamed 1.jpg A new book published by Y Lolfa aims to transform the way people think about Welsh independence. Authors Jim Wingate and Jen Llywelyn share personal experiences and practical exercises in this compact book that aims to decolonise minds.    

The book,  20 Radical Steps to Welsh Independence: By first decolonising our minds , is a self-help guide, giving the reader various examples and actions to transform the way the reader thinks about Wales. Jim has worked in 21 independent countries and uses that experience to show how things need to change in Wales. Jim and Jen say: “There’s a well-researched process called ‘decolonisation’. Every independent country has to go through decolonisation. Every individual citizen has to go through decolonisation – for example, going from being a colonised, ‘passive spectator’ to ‘taking action’ as a decolonised person. Many of these attitudes and beliefs are unconscious. This book enables you to identify all 20 of them and to liberate yourself from them all.”  

The book gives true stories, from the drowning of Tryweryn to housing and planning developments for your local area, giving ideas on ‘What can  you  do?’ yourself, and what can work in practice. There are also inspiring examples from throughout the world, including messages from the lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. The book also suggests ways of dealing with incomers and tourists in Wales, and has useful facts and statistics about thriving independent nations much smaller than Wales.  

The authors and campaigners Jim Wingate and Jen Llywelyn both have Welsh-speaking forebears. They were born in Cheltenham, Gloucester, and moved back to Cymru in 1997. Jim is a storyteller. He travels to Bavaria regularly to work in schools with pupils and teachers. Jen is author and editor of many books on Welsh culture; she has learned Cymraeg, and has spoken/written on Welsh independence on radio, television, and in newspapers. After 20 years in Ceredigion, Jim and Jen now live in northern Pembrokeshire.

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unnamed.jpg The 24 th  of April sees the release of a new book  Charles and the Welsh Revolt: The Explosive Start to King Charles III’s Royal Career  by Arwel Vittle. Charles' Investiture in 1969 marked a turning point in Welsh history. Feelings ran high about the installation of an English Prince of Wales, and there was almost open warfare between the police and young Welsh protesters. Demos and protests, dramatic stunts from the quasi-paramilitary Free Wales Army, hunger strikes, rifts in the Welsh Establishment, secret police, agents provocateurs and a well-organised bombing campaign - this book asks what caused this extreme reaction, whether it was worth it, and whether if could all happen again.

Author  Vittle, who runs a translation company, said it was "interesting" to hear the first hand accounts of the activists and extremists at the heart of the protest movement.

“It was a tense time not only with the bombing campaign, but also Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s non-violent protests and large rallies and Plaid Cymru getting its first electoral successes. I wanted to look at what caused this extreme reaction around Charles’ Investiture, whether it was worth it, and whether it could all happen again.”

The father-of-three and author of popular histories said: "I thought it would be interesting to look at Charles' formative years in public life as Prince, which started with a bang as it were, because of the political atmosphere in Wales, which at the time was pretty febrile.

"With Charles becoming King and his coronation yet to take place, I wanted to write a popular history book which was a good read as well as informing.

"Speaking to many participants, it was good to hear first hand, what it was like to be part of that period - things that aren't documented in many other history books.

"Many hadn't spoken out about their experiences before - particularly around the secret police and surveillance - some people compared Gwynedd at the time to being like a police state like East Germany and (the then) Czechoslovakia - it was interesting to lift the lid on that."

Charles and the Welsh Revolt by Arwel Vittle is published by Y Lolfa, priced at £9.99, and is available in good bookshops.

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Gêm Fwrdd sy’n ail Fyw Rhyfel Glyndŵr Dros Annibyniaeth

Mae’r Lolfa newydd ryddhau gêm fwrdd newydd Gymraeg sy’n ail-fyw gwrthryfel Owain Glyndŵr rhwng 1400-1405. Mae bwrdd y gêm wedi ei seilio ar fap o Gymru’r cyfnod ac yn cynnwys lleoliadau’r cestyll a’r brwydrau. Mae’r holl ddarnau a’r cardiau wedi eu creu yn bwrpasol i roi naws ac ymdeimlad cryf o’r canol oesoedd ac i gynnig profiad i’r rhai sy'n chwarae. Dyma’r gêm Gymraeg wreiddiol gyntaf i gael ei chyhoeddi ers blynyddoedd maith

Mae ar werth yn awr yn y Siopau Llyfrau Cymraeg am £25 a  www.ylolfa.com  am £30 yn cynnwys cludiant.

Yn ôl Geraint Thomas dyfeisydd y gem...

“Mae’r gêm yn wledd i’r llygaid, yn syml i’w chwarae ond hefyd gyda digon o elfennau amrywiol i’w wneud yn gyffrous. Bydd hefyd yn rhoi cyfle i bobl ddysgu am wrthryfel Glyndŵr ac i ail-fyw’r hanes mewn modd hwyliog. Gobeithio y bydd yn tanio’r dychymyg ac yn ysgogi pobl i ddarllen rhagor am Owain Glyndŵr a hanes Cymru.”

A New Welsh Board Game to Relive Glyndŵr’s Independence Rebellion

Y Lolfa have just released a new Welsh board game which relives the rebellion of Welsh national hero Owain Glyndŵr. According to the publishers this is the first original Welsh board game for almost 50 years. The game board is based on a map of Wales at the turn of the 15 th  century with drawings of the disputed castles and battles. All the pieces and cards have been purposely created to give a strong feel of the Middle Ages and to offer a genuine experience to those who play

It is available in Welsh Book Shops for £25 and  www.ylolfa.com  for £30 (p&p inc)

(Welsh game with bilingual instructions)



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