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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Though geographically a small country, Wales has produced a large body of extraordinary literature in both Welsh and English which deserves broader recognition. The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales provides an introduction to the literature and culture of this fascinating country, covering a time period that ranges from the days of King Arthur to the present-day Though geographically a small country, Wales has produced a large body of extraordinary literature in both Welsh and English which deserves broader recognition.
The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales provides an introduction to the literature and culture of this fascinating country, covering a time period that ranges from the days of King Arthur to the present-day flowering of Welsh national consciousness. Its nearly three thousand entries treat the principal genres of Welsh literature, the complexities of Welsh poetic art, myth, legend. The book also features biographies of major figures from all periods of Welsh literary history. Excerpt: "Dylan Thomas , poet and prose writer The standing of Dylan Thomas as one of the most important and challenging of the twentieth-century poets in English is assured Certainly, part of the Welshman's significance is the umcompromising way in which he stood out against the intellectualization of poetry and any thinning of its textural and musical delights.
In terms more specifically of Anglo-Welsh writing, a particular power in his poetry derives from the unresolved tensions which come from living imaginatively on the blurred edged between two cultures. Although English was his only language, the different liguistic instincts of Wales, no less than its society and topography, run deep in his poetry, where the Welshness of his materials in less self-consciously capitalized upon than in his prose. But with respect to the prose and poetry alike, renewed interest in the regional forces shaping British literature in English continues to enrich their appeal.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details The parish church, rebuilt in brick in , is an early example of 41 CGW Otherwise the interior has suffered the depredations of Victorian improvers. Pendref Independent Chapel, at the west end of town, has a history as colourful as its brickwork. The first members of this congregation were led by the Welsh Puritan leader, Vavasor Powell — ; their first chapel building was destroyed by the Jacobites in and re-erected at government expense.
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The only part of that structure that survived a subsequent rebuilding in was the cleverly incorporated memorial stone. Ann Griffiths was converted at an outdoor meeting organised by this congregation in On the eastern edge of the town the former Llanfyllin Union Workhouse has been preserved following a vigorous local and national campaign. North-west of the town in the direction of the Berwyn Mountains lies the beautiful and romantic Tanat valley that Thomas Pennant also found to be rich in fish.
The valley is a stronghold of Welsh culture, with a lively plygain tradition.
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In the eighteenth century, Llangynog was the largest centre of lead mining in Europe and the spoil still scars the landscape here as does that of the slate quarries. In neighbouring Pen-y-bont-fawr there is a commemorative plaque on the wall of Penybont, the farm where Nansi Richards — was born. She won the triple harp competition at the National Eisteddfod at the age of twenty and was henceforth known by her bardic title, Telynores Maldwyn, The Montgomeryshire Harpist. One of the last exponents of the Welsh folk harp tradition, she succeeded in her old age in passing that tradition on to a newly-interested younger generation.
Pennant Melangell sits in the upper reaches of the Tanat valley that have a reputation as a sanctuary for wild creatures. According to legend, Saint Melangell gave shelter to a hunted hare beneath her skirts and succeeded with miraculous power in stopping both huntsmen and hounds in their tracks. The church that commemorates her has a fifteenth-century screen on which the story is depicted. The original twelfth-century Romanesque shrine to the saint, sympathetically reassembled from to , now occupies an east chapel, Cell y Bedd.
The rarity of the shrine and the romantic story surrounding it makes this a lively place of pilgrimage and the associated commercialism, overwhelmingly English, is mercifully restrained. The rivers Cain and Vyrnwy meet a couple of miles downstream at Llansanffraid-ym-mechain where the parish church, dedicated to St Bride, is full of such curiosities as the early nineteenth-century candelabra and a good late seventeenth-century brass memorial to the Revd.
Griffith Lloyd. The Victorian church of St Tysilio at Llandysilio, built in to replace a ruined mediaeval structure, has a pleasing round tower with conical belfry and an ornate interior with a fine stained glass window of Christ walking on the water, a memorial to local Welsh boys lost in the China Sea. From this tranquil spot, there are good views to the south-east of Breidden Hill and Moel y Golfa rising sharply on the far bank of the Severn, marking the English border. These igneous outcrops have been much frequented by botanists since Edward Lhuyd — recorded rock cinquefoil, spiked speedwell and sticky catchfly here in the seventeenth century.
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Lhuyd, scientist, antiquarian, philologist and towering Celtic scholar, who was appointed Keeper of the Ashmolean in Oxford in , was born not far away at Llanforda, near Oswestry, in what was then a thoroughly Welsh part of Shropshire. The church is possibly the most complete Norman church in the county, well restored by John Douglas and R. Penson, even if its slender spire and red-tiled roof give it an incongruously Germanic feel.
The village is the birthplace of Walter Davies — , commonly known in Wales as Gwallter Mechain after his place of birth. He composed plygain carols as well as learned treatises on the state of Welsh agriculture. Guilsfield lies a mile off this road but worth the detour.
There is a magnificent panelled roof of fifteenth-century origin, a late Norman font and numerous fine memorials. The Welsh name of the village, Cegidfa, means place of hemlock. The modern village sits safely suburban in its sheltered valley but prehistoric peoples were attracted to the surrounding hills.
There are some half a dozen iron age hill forts in the immediate vicinity of the village, the most extensive, Gaer Fawr, being managed by the Woodland Trust. In , the Powysland Club — the senior county antiquarian society in Wales, founded in — commemorated the octocentenary of the foundation of Strata Marcella Ystrad Marchell by erecting a memorial stone to mark the spot where this most ruined of the Welsh Cistercian abbeys lies beneath the ground.
It can be found between the road and the river a mile to the south of Pool Quay on the main road from Oswestry to Welshpool. One of its capitals is in use as a font in the parish church at nearby Buttington. Leighton Hall, on the east bank of the Severn, is an opulent Victorian pile built by the Liverpool banker, John Naylor. These were brought to Wales from California in pots in and can be admired from the B He has the dubious honour of having propagated the original Leyland cypress on his estate, the shrub taking its name from his Liverpool bank. Such was his wealth, that, had Naylor had any Welsh interests, this remarkable estate might have become another Gregynog.
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South from Welshpool in the direction of Newtown lies Berriew, just far enough off the main road to have preserved its tranquillity. An aqueduct carries the Montgomeryshire Canal over an approach road to the village. The village has good examples of timber-framed houses, the best being the seventeenth-century vicarage. The rather plain church is dedicated to the Celtic Saint Beuno, sometimes described as the patron saint of north Wales, who is supposed to have been born here. Vaynor Park is a much-renovated Elizabethan brick house; its chimneys have been imitated on nineteenthcentury Vaynor estate cottages in the village.
Glansevern Hall, by contrast, is a delectable Greek Revival villa built in the style of the Petit Trianon at Versailles by Joseph Bromfield who completed this project in The house has delightful gardens and a lakeside walk open to the public in the summer months. Five miles up river from Berriew is Manafon where Gwallter Mechain was rector from to and R. Thomas from to His initials can still be seen carved on roof timbers in the belfry.
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Llywelyn had founded a town next to the castle; after the Edwardian conquest it was replaced by a new town five miles to the west that still bears the name of Newtown. This strategic site affords good prospects of the surrounding 46 CGW The parish church in the village of Kerry has the stone tower and timber belfry characteristic of the county, fitted with ghastly electronic chimes for the millennium. He successfully disrupted a service of rededication by the Bishop of St Asaph with the result that the church remained in the diocese of St Davids until it was amicably transferred to St Asaph in Thomas Burgess, Bishop of St Davids, unveiled the commemorative plaque to this event on the north wall in An adjacent plaque commemorates John Jenkins Ifor Ceri, — who spent his life as vicar of this parish and worked with William Jenkins Rees — , Cascob, to promote the provincial eisteddfodau.
Gregynog, an imitation half-timber mansion set in beautiful countryside to the north of Newtown, was acquired in by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies, granddaughters of David Davies, Llandinam. David Davies, of whom more later, was the first native Welsh industrial tycoon. His income from coal in the nineteenth century, as with later twentieth-century revenues from oil, that newer form of black gold, placed him at the centre of a system of patronage that extended across central Wales.
His granddaughters used their share of his industrial fortune to develop Gregynog as an arts and crafts centre for Wales, echoing the patronage of the mediaeval Welsh princes. Stanley Baldwin was dismayed to find that no scotch was allowed on the premises having accepted an offer of taking 47 CGW The Gwendoline and Margaret Davies collection of French impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, subsequently donated to the National Museum, remains the core of the Cardiff art collection.
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