The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor of Superior Funerals, by Wendy Jones

Gaynor Madoc Leonard
06/29/12 04:09:09PM
302 posts

I've just read this book and enjoyed it although, once again, I've thought to myself as I've been reading that both the hard-working author and the reader who has spent money on it deserve a properly edited book with no spelling mistakes or other errors. As it is published by Corsair, an imprint of Constable & Robinson, there is no excuse.

Wilfred Price is, as the title suggests, a funeral director. He lives in Narberth and the year is 1924.Wilfred, who was warned by his mentor Mr Auden about "fancy business with the ladies" and "lustful thoughts", is having a picnic with Grace Reece, daughter of the local doctor, and suddenly finds himself asking her to marry him. In fact he has no desire to marry her but it's too late as she accepts his proposal. After a prolonged period of avoiding her, he tells her that the engagement is off and, of course, she is upset. In due course, we realise how upset and why but, in the meantime, Wilfred has conducted a funeral for Mr Edwards of the forge and has become beguiled by Flora Edwards, the daughter of the forge.

What might just have been an amusing and charming tale takes a sinister and unexpected turn as Wilfred is bullied and tricked into marriage.

I have no idea if Wendy Jones has any Welsh ancestry but there are a few Welsh spellings that need tidying up. For example, "Flora Myffanwy Edwards" - I have never seen Myfanwy spelt like that. And why "Bara brith" with an upper case "B" when "clogau" is spelt with a lower case "c"? Other odd spellings include: "Mrs Hewyll Russell", "bora da" and "tyatas", the last presumably being potatoes or tatws. Other oddities are: "Flapper" with a capital "F" in the middle of a sentence; "shilling note" which I don't believe has ever existed; "scully" which I assume is supposed to be scullery; "turnups" and "cabages" and "the round shilling" which I would think should be the full shilling.

I know that makes me seem like an unbearable pedant but it's insulting both to the author and the reader to have glaring errors in the text, particularly from a large and reputable publishing house.

updated by @gaynor-madoc-leonard: 11/11/15 10:38:18PM