Reading about Wales

As I’ve previously posted here, Paula Bardell-Hedley of Book Jotter is introducing the first Wales Readathon, Dewithon19 for the month of March. The first day of March is of course the feast day of Wales’ patron St David, also familiarly known as Dewi. With just one month to go, I’ve been giving thought to how I shall approach the readathon.

Firstly, I’ve been drawing up a list of books to consider reading (and subsequently review); this include titles by Welsh authors and books set in or about Wales and about Welsh culture. Here is my initial shortlist, though I may add to or remove some of these works:

  • Catherine Fisher: The Clockwork Crow
  • Jasper Fforde: Early Riser
  • M R Hall: The Coroner
  • Alan Garner: The Owl Service
  • O J Padel: Arthur in Medieval Welsh Literature

Newport’s Catherine Fisher is a noted Welsh author whose many children’s novels are set in Wales or draw on Welsh tradition. Jasper Fforde‘s most recent comic fantasy was published in the UK last year and this year in North America; it’s set in and around an area of an alternate Wales, based on a town close to where the author lives and not too far from where I currently reside. M R Hall (also known as Matthew Hall) is an honorary Welshman who now lives in the Wye valley in South Wales; a former barrister, he’s become as well known as a screenwriter as a crime author. The action of The Coroner takes place in Bristol where I lived for more than four decades.

Cheshire’s Alan Garner set his YA novel in Wales (sites detailed here), basing it on a Welsh myth first recorded in the medieval collection known as the Mabinogion; Cornishman Oliver Padel is a noted medieval scholar, and I’ve often meant to get back to this useful summary of historic Welsh texts treating with Arthurian traditions and legends. I’ve a notion to consider one of those texts to reread in translation too, but I’ll see how the time goes!

Secondly, I hope to post about Wales generally, though what form this will take is rather nebulous at the moment. And thirdly, I want to talk a little bit about my corner of Wales and its bookish connections. If you too are thinking about joining in this event, either blogging or noising it abroad on social media, then Paula invites you to use the hashtag #dewithon19 so that more of us can read all about it!

A corner of wild Wales. Image credit: WordPress Free Photo Library

Throughout February I’ll be including more taster posts about Wales in anticipation of Dewithon, but here is a selection of recent Wales-related pieces I’ve previously featured here:

17 thoughts on “Reading about Wales

    1. Thanks, I’ve already scheduled a couple of posts for March! Do have a look at the link to Paula’s Dewithon page and see who else will be posting with this tag (you may already have done so, of course).

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Pingback: DHQ: Dewithon 2019 – Book Jotter

    1. You’re very welcome, Paula, it’s a pleasure. By the way, is the daffodil logo the new preferred image for 2019? I do like it, especially as all the snowdrops are out and if they’re in evidence can daffs be far behind?! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Reading about Wales — Calmgrove – Earth Balm Creative

  3. piotrek

    I’m sure I’ll be inspired to add a book or two to my list after you’re done with their reviews 🙂

    Owain Glyndwr is discussed in the latest In Our TIme with Melvyn Bragg, so I’ll have something to get me into the mood…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No greater compliment can be paid to a review than that the reader is encouraged to read the original—or avoid it like the plague if necessary!

      I’ll look out the Bragg broadcast, thanks, Piotrek, I usually enjoy the programme when I catch it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. piotrek

        He’d be a great guy to have with you on a desert island… so many great stories on such a wide range of topics, and he seems so interested in everything, so authentic in what he does 🙂 My favourite podcast!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Winding up the Week #55 – Book Jotter

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