books

A journey around my room

March 25, 2020 0 Comments
A journey around my room

One of the many effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been to put a stop to all but the shortest and most qualified kinds of walking.  But if social distancing means that your personal movement is restricted to walking around your own home (and garden, if you have one) and little more, that doesn’t mean […]

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Darllen: a oes argyfwng?

March 7, 2020 0 Comments
Darllen: a oes argyfwng?

Ar 7 Mawrth dathlon ni Ddiwrnod y Llyfr unwaith eto, gyda digwyddiadau mawr mewn ysgolion, siopau llyfrau a  llyfrgelloedd.  Ond ar drothwy’r ŵyl, cyhoeddodd y National Literacy Trust (NLT) adroddiad brawychus sy’n dangos bod darllen er pleser wedi dirywio yn sylweddol unwaith eto yn y DU. Dim ond 25.8% o blant a phobl ifanc (oedran […]

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A Czech refugee artist in Mumbles

December 20, 2019 3 Comments
A Czech refugee artist in Mumbles

In the big show of Swansea-themed art currently on in the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery are three paintings from the permanent collection I’d not seen before.  They’re by a Czech artist called Ernst (later Ernest) Neuschul.  What intrigued me was a note in the caption for one of them to say that he’d found refuge […]

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Television, books and lists

November 8, 2019 0 Comments
Television, books and lists

Television is scared stiff of books.  It’s different on the radio, and it used to be different on television in the distant past – remember Melvyn Bragg’s excellent Read all about it In the 1970s? – but those who decide what we watch on the box today seem to think that to make a programme […]

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Poetry as blood donation

June 30, 2019 0 Comments
Poetry as blood donation

O Positive, says his publisher, ‘is the long-awaited debut collection of poetry from Joe Dunthorne’.  Faber seem to have forgotten that they published an earlier, shorter collection in 2010 in the Faber New Poets series.  Several poems in this are carried over into the new book. Though he started out as a poet, Joe is […]

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Edward Thomas in Swansea

February 24, 2019 0 Comments
Edward Thomas in Swansea

Killed by a shell, a year short of his fortieth birthday, on 9 April 1917, at the start of the Battle of Arras, after seventeen years as a prose writer and a mere two years as one of the twentieth century’s finest poets.  The bare facts of Edward Thomas’s life conceal a complex character and […]

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Lying diagonally in bed

January 18, 2019 0 Comments
Lying diagonally in bed

Book 6 of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy contains an insight that few, if any, novels – or indeed any works of non-fiction – published before or since, have achieved. In chapter 39, a message reaches the house of Tristram’s parents that Uncle Toby, his father’s brother, a veteran injured in the groin in the siege […]

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Dilyn Iolo

January 13, 2019 0 Comments
Dilyn Iolo

Bore mwyn, di-haul o Ionawr, a dyma bedwar ohonon ni’n cychwyn ar Daith Gerdded Treftadaeth Iolo Morganwg.  Taith gylchol o ryw bedair milltir a hanner yw hon, un o gyfres o deithiau cerdded wedi’u dyfeisio gan Gyngor Bro Morgannwg, gyda help Valeways, Ramblers Bro Morgannwg a’r Undeb Ewropeaidd (cofio hwnnw?). Taith berffaith ar gyfer canol […]

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An unusual will: Laurence Sterne’s ‘The fragment’

December 28, 2018 3 Comments
An unusual will: Laurence Sterne’s ‘The fragment’

As far as I know, my father produced only one publication.  Its title was Notes on making a will and it was a pamphlet of just four pages (a single leaf folded with a white card cover).  The publisher, according to the cover, was ‘Bury & Walkers, Solicitors, Barnsley, Wombwell & Leeds’ (Dad was a […]

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Architecture in Wales: a dying art?

December 21, 2018 1 Comment
Architecture in Wales: a dying art?

John B. Hilling has just published a new book, The architecture of Wales, from the first to the twenty-first century (University of Wales Press, 2018, £27.00).  It’s an updating and rewriting of a book he produced in 1976 called The historic architecture of Wales.  I bought my copy for £5.50 in Cardiff in December of […]

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