WALES BOOKS


REVIEWS AND COMMENTS ON 'THE WELSH ALMANAC'

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DEAN POWELL, WESTERN MAIL BOOKS REVIEW, JULY 27TH, 2002-09-21

Terry Breverton's ongoing series of Welsh history books continue to enthuse as my library steadily increases with his work. And the latest, The Welsh Almanac (Glyndwr Publishing, 16.99) is one of the most enjoyable to date. In fact, I'll go so far as to say it's a must for anyone with a drop of Welsh blood in them. Continuing his solo mission to make Wales' proud history more accessible or for that matter readable, in comparison to the huge dusty tomes hidden in darkened libraries, The Welsh Almanac is yet another success.

Filled with fascinating facts and figures, Breverton explains that the rationale behind the publication is two-fold. On the surface it is for welsh people to remember their loved ones' birthdays, anniversaries, important dates and events.

There is also an A-Z section annexed, so that addresses and telephone numbers can be entered. But on the other hand it is to record information about famous Welsh people and events upon each of these days. For each day there is also a quotation, usually from a Welsh source, tying in with people and events of the day.

Hoping that readers will be enthused to find out more about Wales from these entries, the genesis of the book was the author's The Book of Welsh Saints, when Breverton revealed the 900 saints from the Dark Ages that are universally neglected.

As Breverton explained, "We have records of our saints' days, only because their feasts were kept until the 19th century in the places still named after them. Their llannau were sparks of Christianity and learning in a pagan world, but the Welsh contribution to the survival of Christianity has never been properly addressed."

But the saints are just a fraction of his latest publication, with references to colliery explosions and Petula Clark, Freddie Welsh and Kitchener Davies, the Battle of Crecy and rugby triumphs. A tremendous undertaking and a very worthwhile and absolutely fascinating addition to the library of Welsh history.


The Welsh Almanac - Review by Meic Stephens, The Western Mail magazine 28th September 2002

'Although most of the books I read are works of fiction or of the creative imagination, I also enjoy ones that deal with facts and the more ordinary world in which we all live. Terry Breverton's 'The Welsh Almanac' (Wales Books, 16.99) takes the form of a hefty desk diary in which for each day he gives the events that took place on it. Some days are pretty much without incident, but on September 28th, for example, quite a bit happened that merits a note.

On this day in 1400, Henry IV led his army of 13,000 into Wales, slaughtering and pillaging as he went. On this day in 1842 was born W. J. Parry, leader of the North Wales Quarrymen's Union during the Penrhyn Strike and, as it happens, the great-great-great-grandfather of one of my grand-daughters. On the same day in 1898 Thomas Gee, publisher, died ... and so on.

Every day has space for the reader's own notes and a few apt quotations to add interest to the page. So this is a Book of Days in which people can record important dates in their personal histories and see them in the context of Welsh history. It's useful for jotting down birthdays and anniversaries, especially those one tends to forget, and will take its place on the shelf with other works of reference.


REVIEW BY Peter Willams Ninnau December 2002

According to the American heritage Dictionary of the English Language, one of the definitions of an almanac is that it is composed of useful information in various unrelated fields. A new Welsh Almanac by prolific Cardiff-based author Terry Breverton contains a host of useful information. It is not only an ideal book in which to record family birthdays, anniversaries, important dates for each day of the year, but it also contains an alphabetical section in which to write addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and other records. What makes this almanac so very special to people proud of their heritage, is that not only each day's entry commemorates the Welsh saint feasted on that day, but also let's us know about famous Welsh people and events connected with the same day. All in all, it is a prodigious work, chock full of facts and figures from every age of Welsh history.

One example will hint at the wealth of information contained within this fascinating book. On the 1st of January, Welsh people can celebrate not only Dydd Calan (New Year's Day), no fewer than six saints, the birth of the first welsh language newspaper, a welsh defeat of a Norman army, and Welsh team victories in rugby football and so on. The entries for each day are accompanied by a quotation that ties in with the people and events of the day. This wonderful book, attractively priced at 16.99, was be ordered directly from Wales at website walesbooks.com or www.gwales .com.

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Glyndŵr Publishing (Wales Books)