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A Book of Wales

Edited by D M & E M Lloyd  

First published 1953, reprinted 1965

 

This is a real treasure chest of a little book [384 pages], here is a listing of the Contents and Illustrations pages .

 

CONTENTS

PLACES

HISTORY-LITERARY AND GENERAL

PASTORAL AND INDUSTRIAL

PEOPLE, GREAT AND SMALL

HUMOUR, ROMANCE, AND SENTIMENT

CUSTOMS, BELIEFS, AND REFLECTIONS ON LIFE

POEMS, SONGS, BALLADS

RELIGIOUS AND PHILOSOPHICAL

NOTE ON PRONUNCIATION OF WELSH

DATES IN WELSH HISTORY

FIRST LINES OF POEMS

LIST OF AUTHORS

LIST OF TRANSLATORS

ILLUSTRATIONS

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Introduction

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Here is a partial extract from the book's introduction which I feel gives the reader a taste of the material in the book;

"................................Included in this book is a translation of one of the most widely known passages by the best loved of modern Welsh writers, the late Sir Owen M Edwardes [ 1858-1920].[The Soul of a Nation]

He knew well enough what he meant when he said that Wales had a soul.

He was not worried by metaphysical niceties, and neither was he thinking in terms of racial purity.

On racialism we can do no better than quote Sir Ifor Williams, doyen of Welsh scholarship today, who once remarked that

................... 'the people of England and of Wales are formed of the same racial ingredients, although not necessarily in the same proportions, but that the same is true of Christmas cake and plum pudding, only that one has been baked and the other boiled ' !

The varying racial proportions probably have some bearing on national temperament, modes of feeling and artistic gifts, but in the main our distinctive national characteristics are the fruits of age-long common experiences, the results of having inhabited the same corner of the earth, the incalculable effects of the natural scene and the affinities born of it, of having spoken a common tongue, created our own institutions, shared the same responsibilities, felt the same community sense, and borne the effects of the same national development.

We can still recognise ourselves in the people of Giraldus's Wales of the twelfth century--our faults and our good qualities, though much has changed.

The Wales of Giraldus and that of Jack Jones are peopled by the same warm-hearted impulsive folk, often contentious, susceptible to the appeal of oratory, relishers of the finely-turned and bold phrase, and passionately attached to the local community and surroundings.

They realise themselves in the interplay of personal relations within the neighbourhood and country to which they feel they belong, and have a deep distrust of any impersonal officialdom, privilege, or remote control. A shrewdness and distrust of vague sentiment are combined with a verse, prose, or in pulpit or platform speech.

Here is no 'Celtic twilight', but a love of clarity, brilliance, distinct colours and striking antithesis.

These are our prevailing modes."


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