Author Archive: Andrew Green

rss feed

Father Toban, the greatest scholar in the world

July 30, 2021 0 Comments
Father Toban, the greatest scholar in the world

It’s late summer, 1854.  George Borrow, walking around Wales, has arrived at Holyhead.  He stays overnight at the ‘Railway Hotel’ – reluctantly, because he detests railroads and never takes a train if he can do the same journey on foot.  In the morning he explores the town and then finds himself on the breakwater at […]

Continue Reading »

John Thomas: lluniau confensiynol, lluniau hynod

July 24, 2021 0 Comments
John Thomas: lluniau confensiynol, lluniau hynod

Mae’n anodd astudio bywyd cymdeithasol yng Nghymru yn ystod ail hanner y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg heb droi at y drysorfa fawr o luniau, dros 3,000 ohonynt, a dynnwyd gan John Thomas, Lerpwl rhwng y 1860au a’i farwolaeth yn 1905.  Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru yw eu cartref bellach, a gallwch chi weld y mwyafrif ar wefan […]

Continue Reading »

‘A Gentleman had just arrived, with – a black servant!’

July 16, 2021 0 Comments
‘A Gentleman had just arrived, with – a black servant!’

The gentry of eighteenth-century Wales, like most rich people in any country at any time, longed to be fashionable.  One of the rarer badges of fashion for them was to be seen as enjoying the services of a black servant.  As Chris Evans, the historian of Wales and slavery, puts it, ‘their presence spoke of […]

Continue Reading »

The soul of a blackbird

July 9, 2021 0 Comments
The soul of a blackbird

The other day, as I was coming home from an evening walk, a strange thing happened.  I was nearing a place where the road narrows and the pavement gives out and you need to take care before crossing to the safer side.  On a small patch of grass, outside the gate of the house called […]

Continue Reading »

Remembering Camille Claudel

July 2, 2021 0 Comments
Remembering Camille Claudel

The Auguste Rodin exhibition now at Tate Modern takes you beyond easy assumptions about the artist, based on the best-known works and a few fragments of biography.  Rodin’s escape from the conventional beauties of classicism into reconstructing real human bodies came in 1876 with The age of bronze.  Its realism scandalised the critics.  But that’s […]

Continue Reading »

Cwm Cadlan

June 25, 2021 0 Comments
Cwm Cadlan

At the centre of Penderyn is the Lamb Inn, with its blue plaque commemorating ‘Lewsyn yr Heliwr’, one of the leaders of the 1831 Merthyr Rising.  Almost opposite, there’s an ancient signpost labelled ‘Cwm Cadlan, Brecon County’.  It points to a lane off to the east.  After climbing gently for four or five miles across […]

Continue Reading »

Four quarters

June 18, 2021 0 Comments
Four quarters

If you move to live on the coast it doesn’t take long to discover that your world, enriched as it might be by the presence of the sea, has been reduced.  You can no longer travel in all directions, but only, at most, in three.  I learned this lesson late.  I was brought up in […]

Continue Reading »

Erasmus Lewis: spad, spy, friend of Gulliver

June 11, 2021 0 Comments
Erasmus Lewis: spad, spy, friend of Gulliver

This small corner of Carmarthenshire is new to me – the point where the Cothi flows into the Tywi, just west of Llanegwad.  A track leaves the village, passes a cottage, Penygoilan, and a farm, Llwchgwyn, and then turns into a narrow lane that leads down to the banks of the Tywi and a large […]

Continue Reading »

Cwm Ysgiach

June 4, 2021 0 Comments
Cwm Ysgiach

Yma ar y groesffordd yn y bryniau, ymddengys fod pob peth yn bosib.  Gallwch chi gymryd unrhyw ffordd o’ch dewis: nôl i Bontlliw, ymlaen i Felindre, i’r gorllewin i Bontarddulais, dros y mynydd i Garnswllt yn Sir Gâr, neu lawr i Gwm Dulais a phentref bach Cwmcerdinen.  Fy newis heddiw yw cerdded i Felindre: ddim […]

Continue Reading »

Eagle

May 28, 2021 0 Comments
Eagle

In summer 1972 I made two happy discoveries within the Roman fortress that had occupied the centre of Exeter.  One of them was human.  That encounter changed my life for good.  The other was inanimate.  Its impact on me wasn’t as great, but it did earn a small place in the history of research on […]

Continue Reading »