books

Trais yn y pentra

May 20, 2022 0 Comments
Trais yn y pentra

Yn gynnar yn Afal drwg Adda, hunangofiant Caradog Prichard, daw brawddeg sy’n codi ael y darllenydd: Hyd yma [canfod ei fam yn mynd yn ffwndrus] yr oeddwn yn eofn a hunan hyderus, yn ymladdwr ffyrnig ac wedi ennill enw fel tipyn o fwli yn yr ysgol ac ymhlith hogiau’r ardal. Yn ôl pob sôn, cymeriad […]

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In praise of bookmarks

March 25, 2022 2 Comments
In praise of bookmarks

If you’re like me, at any given time you’ll have several half-read books lying about, probably in different parts of your house or flat.  Each book will have a place-holder inserted to remind you where to resume reading.  Unless you’re one of those people who turn down the edges of pages to keep their place […]

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A short letter to Priti Patel

March 10, 2022 7 Comments
A short letter to Priti Patel

Dear Priti Patel I’m writing to you with a simple request: to search your conscience.  Just to avoid doubt, I don’t mean your political calculus.  You don’t need any encouragement to exercise that.  No, I mean your personal moral conscience. As the UK Home Secretary and a senior member of the UK government you’re responsible […]

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Cefn Bryn and the writers

February 25, 2022 0 Comments
Cefn Bryn and the writers

The sandsone ridge of Cefn Bryn is an obvious magnet for painters, but it doesn’t seem to have drawn many creative writers, despite its brooding presence along the backbone of the Gower peninsula.  One exception is Amy Dillwyn, the pioneering industrialist, feminist and lesbian, in her best-known work The Rebecca rioter (1880), an historical novel […]

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Be welwch chi o gopa Cader?

February 18, 2022 0 Comments
Be welwch chi o gopa Cader?

Llynedd, am y tro cyntaf ers blynyddoedd, methais i ddringo i gopa Cadair Idris.  Sa i’n gwbod pam.  Covid a’i ofidiau, siŵr o fod, neu absenoldeb meddwl, neu ohirio oherwydd pwysau eraill.  Ond, o edrych yn ôl, dwi’n teimlo rhyw fwlch bach yn fy mywyd, rhyw rwyg yn yr edafedd o lwybro rheolaidd ar y […]

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Some books I read in 2021

December 31, 2021 4 Comments
Some books I read in 2021

2021 was another big reading year, thanks to continuing Covid.  Some books, especially fiction, arrived thanks to our resuscitated book club – almost all were titles I’d not have thought of taking off the shelf myself, so they were doubly welcome.  But here are some 2021 books read out of personal necessity, curiosity or whim. […]

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The alienist

November 26, 2021 1 Comment
The alienist

Last week I was felled by a mysterious (non-Covid) illness.  The doctor’s best guess was that it was caused by ‘Virus X’, a hard-to-pin-down invader that was powerful enough to wreak temporary havoc with my body.  (My father-in-law, who was also a GP, would have written on my notes the letters ‘SKV’, short for ‘Some […]

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Brwydr hir Rachel Barrett

November 19, 2021 1 Comment
Brwydr hir Rachel Barrett

Mae’n ddigon hysbys mai mudiad dosbarth canol, ar y cyfan, oedd y mudiad i ennill y bleidlais i ferched yn y DU yn ystod y blynyddoedd cyn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf.  Cryfder oedd hyn i’r graddau fod gan yr ymgyrchwyr y sgiliau a’r hyder i ymgyrchu, a mynediad i rwydweithiau cymdeithasol dylanwadol.  Ond golygodd absenoldeb […]

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Two versions of interwar pastoral

August 27, 2021 0 Comments
Two versions of interwar pastoral

The charity shops have yielded two beautiful books in succession.  Both, as it happens, are novels in which first-person narrators look back, many years afterwards, to painful turning points in their lives in the English countryside between the two world wars. Melissa Harrison was much praised in 2018 for her astonishingly detailed picture of a […]

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‘Zounds!’: Tristram Shandy’s rude bits

August 6, 2021 0 Comments
‘Zounds!’:  Tristram Shandy’s rude bits

In the gallery at Shandy Hall at the moment is an exhibition of ingenious ceramics by Katrin Moye.  Entitled Filthy trash, it takes its inspiration from an aspect of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy that’s obvious, but often skated over by scholars more interested in its grander themes, like time, digression and reflexivity – its sly […]

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