WALES BOOKS

 

The First American Novel"The First American Novel" by William Williams 
I would imagine that the revelation that the first American novel was written by a man of Welsh descent will surprise many readers, as it did me. The background to this novel, including information concerning the author, William Williams, has demanded exacting research not only by Terry Breverton but also by other literary historians.
This is an edited version of The Journal of Penrose Seaman. The text of the novel runs to over two hundred pages while the very detailed and extensive annotations run to over a hundred pages. Williams\s work focuses on a first person narrative of a young man\s experiences as a castaway on the South American coast. In its day, the novel was praised by Byron and Southey. The literary academic Dr Moira Dearnley has described Williams\s novel as "a work of considerable literary quality". It is good that it has been made available to a modern readership in this finely produced paperback.
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Welsh Sailors of the Second World War"Welsh Sailors of the Second World War" by Phil Carradice and Terry Breverton 
A book of first-hand accounts of the experiences of Welsh men and women serving in the Merchant Navy, the Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm dockyards and naval bases during the Second World War. It shows how Churchill feared losing the war at sea, and examines the events that took place at Cardiff, Barry, and the Battle of the Atlantic. Nearly 70 years have now passed since the events and stories related in this book, and there is the realisation that witness testimony, now more than ever, needs to be recorded, in order to preserve the records of individuals and communities, vividly and accurately, for posterity. The mere fact that the stories are able to be related in such a vivid and accurate way shows how these events obviously had a huge impact on the lives of, for the most part, ordinary men and women, called on to do the extraordinary.
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Terry Breverton"Terry Breverton" by Admiral Sir Henry Morgan: the Greatest Buccaneer of Them All 
An entertaining and well-researched volume which aims to debunk the myth that Henry Morgan was an over-zealous cruel criminal; he is depicted here as a superb military tactician and strategist who led a dozen successful campaigns against the greatest military power in the world, and was rewarded for his leadership in battle with the governorship of Jamaica. The gripping history of this farmer's son charts his progress from birth in South Wales to his arrival in the West Indies and then follows his career as he swashed and buckled his way into the history books. Terry Breverton has masterfully captured the persona of Sir Henry Morgan using a wealth of in-depth research, which captures every imaginable aspect of life on the sea from piracy and literature to the language of the time.
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100 Great Welshmen (new edition)"100 Great Welshmen (new edition)" by Terry Breverton 
First published in 2001, this is a re-edition of a celebration of the world-wide contribution of one hundred Welsh men and women in fields of literature and the arts, politics and religion, philosophy and industry, pioneering and education, sport and entertainment. The author has managed to select men from all backgrounds, skills and eras, from Howel Davis, the notorious pirate, who plagued the West coast of Africa during the early 18th century, to David Lloyd George, who was highly instrumental in bringing the First World War to its close. From men of the church, saints and poets to architects, artists to sportsmen, they are all to be found in this volume amounting to over 400 pages. The amount of research that Breverton must have done is mind-blowing and we, the readers, are the lucky ones, who have only to look at the list of contents to have this information at our fingertips.
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Gringo Revolutionary: The Amazing Story of Carel ap Rhys Price"Gringo Revolutionary: The Amazing Story of Carel ap Rhys Price" by John Humphries 
John Humphries unearths the amazing story of Carel ap Rhys Pryce from his origins in south Wales, through his adventures in South Africa and America, where he eventually becomes generalissimo of the Magonista revolutionaries in Mexico. Apparently almost called 'General Scallywag', the book is based on five years of personal research by Humphries that began after hearing an intriguing comment whilst on a visit to Alabama about a 'Welsh guy . . . who caused a lot of trouble around the (Mexican) border'. The Welsh guy (and Scallywag) in question was Carel ap Rhys Pryce, a distant descendent of none other than Owain Glyndwr. Like his more famous ancestor, Pryce also had revolutionary tendencies. Humphries pieced together the story of how he lead a socialist army of mercenaries across the Sonoran dessert in 1911 to capture the border town of Tijuana, so alarming the US authorities that they sent 20,000 troops to the border to contain the uprising.
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Heroic Science: Swansea and the Royal Institution of South Wales 1835-1865"Heroic Science: Swansea and the Royal Institution of South Wales 1835-1865" by Ronald Rees 
A fascinating volume retelling the incredible story of when seven noted scientists made Swansea the scientific hub of Europe.
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The Man From The Alamo"The Man From The Alamo" by John Humphries 
'The Man from the Alamo' is as much a detective story as it is an account of the lives of Zephaniah Williams and John Rees, two of the main protagonists in the Chartist Uprising of 1839, an event that, in the eyes of the world, propelled Wales into the cockpit of working class revolution. Twenty-two men died during the attack upon Newport's Westgate Hotel when a detachment from the 45th Regiment of Foot, hidden behind the hotel's shuttered windows, discharged their muskets into the crowd. For waging war against the monarch, thirteen of the Chartist leaders were indicated for High Treason in the last great show-trial in British legal history.
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Black Bart Roberts"Black Bart Roberts" by Terry Breverton 
The legendary Black Bart Roberts is remembered for bringing transatlantic shipping virtually to a standstill and for commanding multinational crews of freed black slaves and senior pirates who called themselves 'The House of Lords'. Ranging across the seas from Europe to the Americas and back to Africa, 'The Great Pyrate' took over 400 ships in his brief career (the notorious pirates, Blackbeard and Captain Kidd took only 30 between them).
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The Pirate Handbook"The Pirate Handbook" by Terry Breverton 
This wonderful source book is an absolute 'must' for anyone who is interested in the history of nautical matters. It is exactly what it purports to be - a dictionary of pirate (and, therefore, nautical) terms and places.
The book is more than just a dictionary, however. Here you will find items like 'The Articles of Captain Roberts' (Black Bart) and a brief survey of the Bermuda Triangle. The amount of detail and depth is phenomenal - there is even a poem written by Benjamin Franklin about the demise of the famous English pirate Blackbeard.
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Glamorgan Seascape Pathways"Glamorgan Seascape Pathways" by Terry Breverton 
Well-researched and well-written... a lot of information but it is presented in a totally accessible and user -friendly manner... a good idea for a book, one that will be useful to anybody who is interested in the topography, geography and history of the southern Vale of Glamorgan either as a walker, or as an 'armchair' traveller... fascinating.
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The Book of Welsh Pirates and Buccaneers"The Book of Welsh Pirates and Buccaneers" by Terry Breverton 
This is the third of Terry Breverton’s books to be chosen by the Welsh Books Council for its ‘Book of the Month’ promotion. Wales can not only boast the most successful buccaneer in history, Admiral Sir Henry Morgan, but also the most successful pirate, ‘Black Bart’ Roberts. We have records of Roberts taking over 400 ships in two years, from the African coast to South America, from the West Indies to Newfoundland. He was ‘the last and most lethal pirate’, known across the oceans as ‘The Great Pirate’. These were amazing, exciting times, and hopefully this book brings them back to life.
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The Welsh Almanac"The Welsh Almanac" by Terry Breverton 
The rationale for this publication is two-fold. On the surface it is for Welsh people to build up and remember their loved ones' birthdays, anniversaries, important dates and events against days of the year. There is also an A-Z section annexed, so that addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and the like can be entered. Thus we can keep our personal and social records in one easy-to-find book, rather than delve among scraps of paper, fading memories, or boot up the computer. On the other hand, it is to let us know about famous Welsh people and events upon each of these days. For each day, there is also a quotation, usually from a Welsh source, often tying in with the people and events of the day.
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Glyn Dwr"Glyn Dwr's War - The Campaigns of the Last Prince of Wales" by G.J.Brough 
This book tells the true story of a nation's fight for liberty against overwhelming odds. This chronology of the war against England details not only the savage fighting, sieges, ambushes, full-scale battles and assassinations, but also the political manoeuvrings, alliances and the re-birth of a nation. The book begins with flashes from Wales' forgotten military past, and explains how the culmination of years of cruelty inflicted on the Welsh people finally ignited a nation, and brought the fire and tumult of war to the land.
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From Wales to Pennsylvania"From Wales to Pennsylvania" by Peter N. Williams 
In this completely revised and updated verstion of his "David Thomas: Man of Iron", Dr. Peter Williams takes us back to the days of mass Welsh emigration to the United States. The terrible conditions at home, which sparked the Chartist riots, are described, to put into context the reasons for this difficult transatlantic flight. Though David Thomas's correspondence with Wales, Dr. Williams shows the Welshman's immense contribution to the industrialisation and economic growth of America.
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The Path to Inexperience"The Path to Inexperience" by Terry Breverton 
Terry is well known as a tireless recorder of welsh achievements in many fields. In this poetry collection, he allows us a glimpse of the tumultuous feelings that drive him. A tortured energy rushes through this book. There is bitter anger, a keen sense of injustice, national pride, compassion, fear of loss. The images whirl. He jokes and parodies, he gets drunk on words; and there are quieter moments too. Sometimes he gives us a long 'found poem' like his 'inventory' of statistics about the suffering of the miners of South Wales, where the plainly stated facts are the agonised poem; or his final 'partial list of endangered species' with their evocative and often musical names. It is good to know that out of this turmoil have come - and are still coming - books so positive in their celebration of Wales, its people, history religion and arts.
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100 Great Welsh Women"100 Great Welsh Women" by Terry Breverton 
This book brings to light the fabulous history and achievements of the Welsh people, and is the second of a series (Volume 1 '100 Great Welshmen' was the Welsh Book Council's 'Book of the Month' in June 2001). Before the English Conquest, Wales fortunately has many more important female leaders, opinion formers and icons than contries of a similar size.
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A Rhondda Boy 1906 - 1914"A Rhondda Boy 1906 - 1914" by Ivor Howells 
Son of a miner, Rhondda born and bred, Rhondda educated apart from his degree years at Aberystwyth, Ivor Howells spent all his professional life as teacher and headmaster in Rhondda schools. After graduating he taught for a short time in Llwyncelyn Elementary School before returning as French master to Porth County School for Boys, his old school. Following a successful headship of Porth Secondary School he was appointed Headmaster of Tonypandy Secondary School. Thus in breadth of experience of Rhondda grammar schools he may claim to be without rival. Over a span of forty years in the profession he would be known to thousands of boys and girls.
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100 Great Welshmen"100 Great Welshmen" by Terry Breverton 
This book is the start of a series that brings to light the fabulous history and achievements of the Welsh people. Apart from poets, saints, four american presidents and Hollywood superstars, we can find the following entries: the father of the American Revolution, Arthur, Merlin, the architect of elizabethan England, il gigante buono, the Lord Protector, the hero of Waterloo, the comedians comedian, the computer engineer who made possible the Internet, the true christian, the worlds's greatest buccaneer, the first man to fly, the greatest boxer of all time and many more.
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The Dragon Entertains"The Dragon Entertains" by Alan Roderick 
This is a reference book with a difference - a highly readable, informative account of the lives of one hundred Welsh stars. Within its pages the reader will find one hundred concise mini-biographies, word pictures detailing all the relevant, basic facts of the entertainers career. For a small country, on the western fringe of Europe, a nation of only three million people, Wales' contribution to the world of entertainment is immense. Actors and actresses, playwrights and directors, singers and musicians, composers and comedians - Wales has produced them all. And what other nation of comparable size can boast four Oscar winners?
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The Book of Welsh Saints"The Book of Welsh Saints" by Terry Breverton 
The book tells of the magical and fascinating world of 'The Age of Saints' in Wales, which paralleled 'The Dark Ages' across the rest of Europe. It was the time of Arthur, of roman rule being replaced by celtic christian nobles, of constant fighting against pagan invaders from England, Ireland, Germany and Scandinavia.
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The Secret Vale of Glamorgan"The Secret Vale of Glamorgan" by Terry Breverton 
This is the story of a remarkable area, sandwiched between the famous 6th century monasteries of Llanilltud Fawr and Llancarfan. We tend to think of where we live as unremarkable, compared to the strangeness of the new. However, the village of St Tathan and the hamlets of Flemingstone, Gileston, Eglwys Brewys and West and East Aberthaw are not only attractive, and set in wonderful countryside, but have a history almost unique in such a small area.
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The A-Z of Wales and the Welsh"The A-Z of Wales and the Welsh" by Terry Breverton 
The author wants the world to know what Wales has to offer alongside with the cool Cymru actors and pop stars. There is as well a wealth of information on more traditional Welsh culture, history, legend, art and literature. South Wales Echo, April 14th, 2000, by Penny Taylor.
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Glyndŵr Publishing (Wales Books)