literature

Lasseter’s last ride

August 5, 2022 3 Comments
Lasseter’s last ride

Our school was just across the road.  I could have left our little brick house, Corton Cottage, at one minute to nine and still have been in time for lessons.  The school building was small, built of warm stone, and handsome in its modest way.  It dated back to the 1860s.  At first not much […]

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The poet and the mapmaker

July 15, 2022 0 Comments
The poet and the mapmaker

As the Russian government continues its murderous and destructive war on Ukraine, it seems a good time to turn to a voice for peace.  Here’s a poem from the time of what is still called, mistakenly, the English Civil War, by an obscure poet from Norfolk, Ralph Knevet.  Entitled ‘The vote’, it is a simple […]

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Mr Bebb’s dislike of the motor car

June 3, 2022 3 Comments
Mr Bebb’s dislike of the motor car

Not many people these days have heard of Ambrose Bebb.  Maybe some Welsh speakers, especially following Robin Chapman’s 1997 biography, but very few others.  His son Dewi Bebb, the rugby player, and his grandson Guto Bebb, the former MP, are probably much better known.  In the interwar period, though, Ambrose Bebb was known for his […]

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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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John Thelwall at Llyswen

April 29, 2022 0 Comments
John Thelwall at Llyswen

Next week we’ll be completing the Wye Valley Walk, and one of our stops will be the Griffin Inn in the village of Llyswen, on the banks of the Wye half way between Brecon and Builth.  Years ago, my colleague Jean Dane and I would often pause there for a coffee on our way from […]

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Y Lôn Goed a’r beirdd

April 22, 2022 7 Comments
Y Lôn Goed a’r beirdd

Rhodfa lydan â dwy linell o dderw a ffawydd oedd y Lôn Goed, a dim mwy na hynny, i ddechrau. Enw yn unig oedd y Lôn imi tan y ddiweddar, pan ddarllenais gyfrol ddifyr Rhys Mwyn, Real Gwynedd, a darganfod mai lleoliad go iawn yw hi.  Ac yn wir, lleoliad hanesyddol.  Fe’i lluniwyd gan John […]

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Funeral notes

April 15, 2022 4 Comments
Funeral notes

It’s been a bad six months for funerals.  Maybe the Grim Reaper has been busier than usual lately.  More likely, I’m now entering that danger zone of an age when I can expect him to visit my friends and acquaintances more often.  One consolation, if you can call it that, is that experiencing so many […]

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Ruth Bidgood at Ystrad Fflur

March 12, 2022 3 Comments
Ruth Bidgood at Ystrad Fflur

The poet and writer Ruth Bidgood died in Rhayader last week, six months short of her hundredth birthday.  She never raised her voice loudly in print, and few people, asked to name five contemporary Welsh poets writing in English, would probably have chosen her.  But the poems she wrote, in a steady stream over forty […]

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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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William Blake, map-maker

January 22, 2022 0 Comments
William Blake, map-maker

You can’t wander far in south and mid-Wales in the early years of the nineteenth century without coming across the name of Benjamin Heath Malkin.  The second edition of his book The scenery, antiquities and biography of south Wales, published in two volumes in 1807, was described by the historian R.T. Jenkins as ‘by far […]

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