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A Book of Wales

An Anthology

Selected by Meic Stephens

J M Dent & Sons Ltd, 1987

From the book's dustjacket

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Wales is a country with two languages and two literatures. This book, the only one of its kind now available, is an anthology of poetry and prose in English translation which reflects the ancient tradition of Wales and the contemporary vitality of literature in both Welsh and English. All the great names of Welsh and Anglo-Welsh literature are included -  Dafydd ap Gwilym, Saunders Lewis, Kate Roberts, Dylan Thomas, David Jones, R. S. Thomas and so on - as well as a host of other writers (more than a hundred in all) who have contributed memorably to their country's heritage.

Their writing touches on many of the major themes of human experience such as childhood, love, patriotism, work, politics, humour, nature, war, death and religion, and sparkles with passion, an imagination, a wit and a mastery of language which will be widely recognized as distinctively Welsh.

Not only are most periods of Welsh history represented but there is hardly any part of Wales that is not featured, from the mountains of the North to the industrial valleys of the South. The reader will find here a portrait of the land and people in all their moods, whether joyful or sombre, and perhaps come to a better understanding of Wales and the Welsh.

This is a delightful book for browsing in, a book to be enjoyed both as bedside reading and as an excellent introduction to the literature of that most creative of countries. It has been expertly compiled by Meic Stephens, who presents here a generous selection of Welsh writing in translation which, although personal, is knowledgeable, finely balanced and authoritative.


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