No name is so frequently invoked on Wales as that of Owain Glyndŵr, a figurehead of Welsh nationalism and the last native Welshman to hold the title Prince of Wales. However, although much is known and recorded about Glyndŵr, he disappeared from the pages of history in 1412 and it is still not certain where his burial ground is located. Further still, except for what was recorded by some poets of the time, much less is known about his children’s lives.
It is due to these mysteries surrounding Glyndŵr’s life that author John Hughes decided to write Glyndŵr Daughter, a fictional account of the life and times of the daughter of the Prince of Wales - Gwenllian. Although it is possible to glean Gwenllian’s renowned beauty, poise, intelligence and loyalty from poems sung by poets who visited her home in Cenarth, Llanidloes, what has not been documented is the fact that as Glyndŵr’s daughter, her life was tied to the ebb and flow of her father’s war.
In Glyndŵr’s Daughter, Hughes takes the reader back to the cloak and dagger life of the time, and shows how Gwenllian was herself drawn deeply into the murky world of espionage in order to help her father’s cause. Gwenllian suffered horrific experiences during the period of the Glyndŵr uprising, experiences which are shared for the first time in the novel.
The author also suggests a new possible burial location for Glyndŵr in the novel, and argues against the common notion that he was possibly buried close to his home, or on the estates of one of his other daughters in Herefordshire. As Gwenllian lived in a remote part of Wales, she was in a better position to help hide her father and deceive his numerous enemies during the last years of his life, and would therefore have played a crucial role in his burial. So according to John Hughes, where exactly was Owain Glyndŵr buried at dusk in the dark autumn season of 1415?
Glyndŵr’s Daughter is John Hughes’ first novel. He has a PhD in Chemistry and is a newly retired head teacher of Llanidloes High School after 26 years in office.
Extract from the novel:
They returned to Glyndŵr’s grave and stood near it for a few seconds, and Gwenllian said, “If we are successful, no one will ever know where this true prince of Wales in buried. I don’t like the thought of that…”
“Don’t worry, Gwenllian,” said Meredydd. “No one knows where Arthur is buried either, but he has not been forgotten.”