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Chapter 20: Reading List

There are many excellent books available on the history of Wales. The most comprehensive is that of Dr. John Davies. "A History of Wales" (Penguin Books, 1993). Originally published in the Welsh language as "Hanes Cymru", this is a masterly account, full of absorbing detail, of the whole history of Wales from the very earliest times.

A more recent book by John Davies, much shorter than the above, and beautifully illustrated is one that deals with Wales from a unique perspective, that of the influence of the Welsh landscape upon its historical development is "The Making of Wales" published by Ca, Cardiff, 1996.

Another book well worth reading, with a lively, direct style unique to its author, is "When Was Wales? A History of the Welsh" by Gwyn A. Williams, published in 1985 by Black Raven Press, London.

A most useful book that traces the main outlines of the history of Wales from the Celtic settlements to the political, social and economic life of the twentieth century is "A Pocket Guide: The History of Wales" by T. Graham Jones (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1990).

A fascinating collection of more than 2,300 quotations about Wales and the Welsh, drawn from sources both native and foreign, is Meic Stephens' "A Most Peculiar People: Quotations about Wales and the Welsh "(Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1992).

A concise and informative guide to the richness of Welsh literature can be found in "A Pocket Guide to The Literature of Wales", edited by Dafydd Johnston and published by the University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1994. This is a short survey of both the Welsh and English literature of Wales.

An indispensible book for the student of Welsh literature, culture and history from Arthurian times onward is "The Oxford Companion to the LIterature of Wales", edited by Meic Stephens. Published by Oxford University Press, New York in 1986, it contains nearly 3,000 entries covering writers from all periods, books, periodicals, the principal literary genres, myths, legends, folklore, places with literary associations, events, movements, and institutions.

For detailed descriptions of the many attractions that Wales has to offer: its mountain and coastal scenery, its castles and great houses, ancient cathedrals and ruined abbeys, modern museums and centres of industrial technology, one should consult the "Blue Guide to Wales" by John Tomes (London, A & C Black, 1990). The book also contains background articles on the history of Wales and its people, and much practical information for the traveler.

An interesting study of the most important figures in the history of Wales who have contributed to the building and molding of the Welsh nation is "Welsh Nation Builders" by Gwynfor Evans, himself a leader of unyielding patriotism and ardent fervor who has contributed much to the present resurgence of pride in Welsh nationhood. (Published by Gomer Press, Llandysul, 1988)

Those lucky enough to visit Wales will find a most informative book "Guide to Welsh Wales" by Ralph Maud (Y Lolfa Press, Talybont, 1994) Maud details a week of day tours to the sites in Wales that are most evocative of the national spirit of the people.

A good overview of Welsh literature, with translations, is that of Meic Stephens, "A Book of Wales: An Anthology" (J. M. Dent & Sons, 1987)

Many books have dealt with the tales of the Mabinogion. One of the best works is "The Mabinogion", ed. by Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones (JH.M. Dent, 1948)

One of the best editions of early Welsh poetry, with translations, is Joseph P. Clancy's "The Earliest Welsh Poetry" (Macmillan, 1970). Also excellent is "Medieval Welsh Lyrics" by the same editor (Macmillan, 1963)

For the poetry of Dafydd ap Gwylym, there is no finer book than that edited and translated by Rachel Bromwich, "Dafydd ap Gwylym: A Selection of Poems "(Penguin Books, 1985).

Another collection of early Welsh poetry is "The Burning Tree: Poems from the First Thousand Years of Welsh Verse" selected and translated by Gwyn Williams (Faber and Faber Ltd.; undated)

For a collection of Welsh hymns with pronunciation guides, phonetic transcriptions, comprehensive vocabulary and translations, see "38 Favorite Hymns in Welsh and English" by Peter N Williams (Red Dragon Press, 1996)

The story of David Thomas is told in "David Thomas, Man of Iron: The Story of an Immigrant and of the Country he Left Behind" by Peter N. Williams (NWAF, 1995)

For a list of books dealing with Welsh emigration to the United States and of distinguished Welsh Americans, see "A Classified Bibliography of Welsh Americana" by Edward G. Hartmann (NWAF, 1993)

Finally, a very comprehensive guide to places and characters in Wales is Insight Guides: Wales, edited and published by Brian Bell as one of the APA publications that deal with what it terms "the Celtic fringes of the British Isles." The book is profusely is profusely illustrated though it contains no mention of Caerphilly Castle, by far the largest medieval structure in Wales and second only to Windsor as the largest castle in Britain.

Part Two: Additional Reading

The story of the 1960's protests, beginning with the sit-down at Trefechan Bridge, is perhaps best told by one of its leaders, Dafydd Iwan, in "Cyfres Y Cewri l: Dafydd Iwan", published by Gwasg Gwynedd, 1981.

An excellent Welsh Grammar book is "Gramadeg Cymraeg Cyfoes" (Contemporary Welsh Grammar), published at Bontfaen, Glamorgan, 1976 by D. Brown a'i Feibion (Brown and Sons).

At present the best Welsh dictionary is "Y Geiriadur Mawr" (The Complete Welsh-English, English-Welsh Dictionary, edited by H. Meurig Evans and W.O. Thomas. Gwasg Gomer, 1989.

For an understanding of the intricacies of Welsh verb forms, see Kathy Klingebiel, "234 Welsh Verbs", published in Massachusetts by Ford and Baillie, 1994.

For Welsh pronunciation and a guide to Welsh hymns, see Peter N. Williams, "38 Favorite Hymns in Welsh and English "(Red Dragon Press, Newark, DE 19711. 1996).

A good book on Welsh hymnology and history is Alan Luff, "Welsh Hymns and their Tunes", published at Carol Stream, IL. by Hope Publishing Co., 1990.

Welsh language beginners should see Gareth King, "Colloquial Welsh: A Complete Language Course "(New York: Routledge, 1995).

Another highly recommended book for Welsh-language beginners is "Y Geiriau Bach: Idioms for Welsh learners" by Cennard Davies, one of the foremost language teachers in Wales (Gwasg Gomer, 1987).

For the situation of the Welsh language up to the mid-eighties, a useful study is "Aspects of Bilinguism in Wales", by Colin Baker, published as Multilingual Matters 19 by Multinual Matters, London, 1985.

Also useful booklet on the language aspect is that by Bobi Jones, "Language Regained in Changing Wales", ed. Meic Stephens: Gomer Press, 1993.

Further studies should include "The Welsh and their Country: Selected Readings in the Social Sciences", ed. I. Hume and W.T.R. Pryce, Gomer Press, 1986.

Of the myriad books on walking tours of Wales, a recent one, as good as any other, is "A Walk Through Wales", by Anthony Bailey. Harper Perennial, 1992.

There are many books dealing with folk tales of Wales. A small collection is found in "Folk Tales of Wales", ed by Eirwen Jones. (Gomer Press, 1978).

North American readers can keep up with events in the US and Canada, as well as what's happening in contemporary Wales by subscribing to "Ninnau", ll Post Terrace, Basking Ridge, N.J. 07920) or "Y Drych", Box 8089, St. Paul, MN, 55l08.

An international Welsh magazine is "Yr Enfys: The Journal of Wales International", published four times a year at 7 Victoria Rd, Old Colwyn, Clwyd, Wales, LL 29 9SN.

A monthly newsletter, "Y Monitor Cymreig "for North American readers is also published at 1225 E. Sunset Drive, # 609, Bellingham, WA, 98226.

Part Three: Literature

Rachel Bromwich, "Selected Poems of Dafydd ap Gwilym". Bromwich has also co-edited "The Arthur of the Welsh "with A.O.H. Jarman and B.F. Roberts.

Lewis Thorpe, trans. "Geoffrey of Monmouth: The History of Britain "(1966).

There are many books that deal with "The Mabinogion ". One of the best is Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones."The Mabinogion "(1948).

Dafydd Johnston, "Iolo Goch: Poems" (1993), "Medieval Welsh Erotic Poetry" (1991), and "Poet's Grief "(1993). Johnston has also co-edited "Medieval Welsh Poems "with Richard Loomis.(1992)

A substantial collection of modern Welsh poetry is Joseph Clancy "Twentieth Century Welsh Poems" (1982). Clancy has also translated "Medieval Welsh Lyrics" (1965) poems of Gwyn Thomas, "Living a Life" (1982), Bobi Jones, "Selected Poems" (1987) and Saunders Lewis, "Selected Poems" (1993).

For Saunders Lewis, see Gwyn Thomas, trans, "Presenting Saunders Lewis "(1973)

Another book of translations of some of Saunders Lewis' plays and poetry is Alun R.Jones and Gwyn Thomas. "Presenting Saunders Lewis" (1983).

An excellent source for modern Welsh poetry is "The Oxford Book of Welsh Verse in English" (1977)

For translations of poems from all historical periods, see Tony Conran, "Welsh Verse", (1986).

Dannie Abse's poems can be found in "Collected Poems" 1948-1976 (1977).

Gillian Clark, "Selected Poems" (1985)

For translations of the prose of Kate Roberts, see Joseph Clancy, "The World of Kate Roberts" (1991).

For anthologies of Welsh writing in the English language, see Raymond Garlick and Roland Mathias, "Anglo-Welsh Poetry" (1480-1980); Meic Stephens, "The Bright Field" (1991); Alun Richards, "The Penguin Book of Welsh Short Stories" (rev. 1991); and John Davies, "The Green Bridge" (1988).

Welsh writing in English is also covered by Glyn Jones, "The Dragon has Two Tongues" (1968); Anthony Conran, "The Cost of Strangeness" (1982); M. Wynn Thomas, "Internal Difference" (1992); Roland Mathias, "Anglo-Welsh Literature: A Illustrated History" (1987) and John Harris, "A Bibliographical Guide to Twenty-Four Modern Anglo-Welsh writers" (1994).

For the earliest Welsh poetry, consult A.O.H. Jarman, "Aneirin: Y Gododdin" (1988) and Jenny Rowland, "Early Welsh Saga Poetry" (1990).

A book dealing with the cultural background of Welsh literature is Trevor M. Owen, "The Customs and Traditions of Wales" (1991).

The importance of the literary tradition for Welsh identity is explored by Emyr Humphries, "The Taliesin Tradition" (1983).

For a survey of the Celtic context of Welsh language and literature, see Glanville Price, "The Celtic Connection" (1992).

For a study of the Welsh language, see Janet Davies, "The Welsh Language" (1993).

For those who read Welsh, a comprehensive bibliography in two volumes is "Llyfryddiaeth Llenyddiaeth Gymraeg".

A handy little reference book is Dewi Davies, "Welsh Place Names and their Meanings" (printed in Brecon by "The Brecon and Radnor Express and Powys County Times," undated).

Students of Dylan Thomas should include the following in the myriad books and plays written about this enigmatic figure: Dylan Thomas: "Under Milk Wood" (1957) and "Collected Poems" 1934-1952 (1952); William T. Moynihan, "The Craft and Art of Dylan Thomas" (1968); Andrew Sinclair, "Dylan Thomas: No Man more Magical" (1975); "The Collected Stories" (1983).

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