• Announcing Story, Vols. I & II
  • Brenda Chamberlain Centenary 2012
  • Women's Writing from the Library of Wales
  • Library of Wales enewsletter
  • Recent ebooks

Jon Gower Nears the End of his Library of Wales Reading Challenge with 'Black Parade'

Black Parade is the historical novel cast as gripping saga, a page turner and a half. There are the real life events... and the artillery noises-off of faraway battles. But the true sense of history is there in the telling detail, the sort of stuff that a novelist who first went to work underground at the age of twelve would know.


Jack Jones brings it all, and I mean all, to pulsing, chaotic and ambitious life, with its new institutions such as the Town Hall and its many theatres, its hospital and public parks, all helping to shore up an evolving sense of civic pride. Its townspeople can still feel exceedingly proud of the writings of one of the town’s, and indeed Wales’s, most compelling writers, able to show life in all its toughness and tenderness and all the myriad shades in between. 





Author, Broadcaster and Raconteur Jon Gower has undertaken the challenge to read all the titles in the current Library of Wales series, and review them. Are you joining in too? Do let us know.
Buy: Black Parade from the Parthian online bookshop for £8.99. This title is also available on ebook from all good online retailers.

A Horse-trek with Dannie Abse

(Ogmore Castle)

There’s nothing better to do on a beautiful summer’s day than listen to poetry while wandering through the country. So that’s exactly what we did, but with a twist: instead of walking, we horse-trekked our way through beautiful Ogmore. 

(the literary tour begins at Ogmore Farm Riding Centre)

On Saturday 18th May, Parthian teamed up with Literature Wales as Dr Kate North and Tom Anderson led a group of anxious literature fans, mainly Dannie Abse fans, across the Ogmore sand dunes on horseback, talking about Dannie’s time in that very place. As everyone got kitted up and introduced to their hairy friend for the day, Parthian got to know the Ogmore Farm Riding Centre’s horses…


(Chucky, the very nosey and affectionate foal)

Afterwards, those who were not so brave to partake in the horse ride (Parthian included), gathered at the stunningly located Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre for an intimate Q&A and reading with Dannie, who is celebrating his 90th birthday this year – happy birthday, Dannie!

(Tom Anderson and Dr Kate North intensely listen to Dannie Abse)


It was a special day for all those who attended, Dannie’s poems really came alive as he read poems from his collections that were inspired by the Ogmore coast.


To see more pictures from the day's advenutre, head over to the Parthian Facebook site.

Parthian Meets Royalty


At the Hay Festival Parthian was lucky enough to present Prince Charles with a complete set of the Library of Wales series.
Twenty years ago, the Prince's Trust gave Parthian Director, Richard Davies, £2000 to set up a publishing company. Twenty years on, Parthian employees and authors met Prince Charles at the Hay Festival to show him just how well Parthian has done! 
(photo taken by Dimitris Legakis of Dimitris Legakis Photography) Prince Charles reads from Poetry.
The prince was pleased to hear about Parthian's success and was incredibly touched as he was presented with prestigious Welsh titles.
Author George Brinley Evans, who was at the Hay meeting, has a fan in Prince Charles, and was told that the Prince of Wales has a copy of all of his books. 
As the prince leaned in to shake hands with George, he noticed the Burma Star badge on his jacket and expressed how proud his uncle would have been. 

Jon Gower Continues his Library of Wales Reading Challenge with 'I Sent a Letter to my Love'

This sophisticated, Booker Prize winning novelist often detailed in dissecting detail the lives of siblings. In Stan and Amy she created a pair of memorable south Wales symbionts, and in Amy in particular Rubens detailed a life so empty of love and its attendant affections that it hurts like hell to read about it and chart its cloying, never-ending miseries. 



Author, Broadcaster and Raconteur Jon Gower has undertaken the challenge to read all the titles in the current Library of Wales series, and review them. Are you joining in too? Do let us know.
Buy: I Sent a Letter to my Love from the Parthian online bookshop for £7.99. This title is also available on ebook from all good online retailers.


Country Dance and Border Country available as 99p Kindle ebooks throughout May


Library of Wales treats for you all: Border Country by Raymond Williams is just 99p as part of the Kindle 100 promotion for the whole of May 2013 as is Country Dance by Margiad Evans
Border Country
'I do not think I have ever been so moved by a modern novel... It has made me take stock of my own position.' - Dennis Potter
When railway signalman Harry Price suffers a stroke his son Matthew, a lecturer in London, makes a return to the border village of Glynmawr. As Matthew and Harry struggle with their memories of social and personal change, a beautiful and moving portrait of the love between a father and son emerges.
About the author:
Raymond Williams was born in 1921 in the Welsh border village of Pandy. He taught at both Oxford and Cambridge, and in 1974 was appointed as Professor of Drama at Cambridge. His best-known publications include; Culture and Society (1958), The Long Revolution (1961), The Country and the City (1973), Keywords (1976) and Marxism and Literature (1977).
Country Dance:
"Phenomenon in border country writing, and pretty rare in any writing."
- John Powell Ward
"Written with terse incisive power... the novels of Margiad Evans glow with a dark... passionate light."
- Derek Savage
At the heart of Country Dance is Ann Goodman, a young woman torn by ‘the struggle for supremacy in her mixed blood’, Welsh and English. In this story of passion and murder set in the border country, the rural way of life is no idyll but a hard battle for survival.
About the author:
Artist and writer Margiad Evans (Peggy Whistler) was born in Uxbridge in 1909. Her work includes Country Dance (1932); The Wooden Doctor (1933); Turf or Stone (1934), and Creed (1936), as well as non-fiction, short stories, autobiography and two collections of poetry, Poems from Obscurity (1947) and A Candle Ahead (1956).
See all of the books in this month's Kindle promotion: http://www.amazon.co.uk/b?ie=UTF8&node=693580031

Literary Tourism 2013: Soho Welsh, Riotous Rhondda, Literary Ogmore and R S Thomas's Eglwysfach


After sold out literary tours to Machen country and Brenda Chamberlain's Bangor last year we have some more exciting new literary events arranged for you this year in partnership with Literature Wales' brilliant literary tourism programme. Join us on a sojourn to London for Soho Welsh, a trip down memory lane with Rachel Trezise and Boyd Clack in Riotous Rhondda and explore the Merthyr Mawr sand dunes on horseback to find out more about Dr Dannie Abse’s time in Ogmore. So much fun to be had! Book early to avoid disappointment.
1. Soho Welsh with Tomos Owen, Nicholas Murray and Lewis Davies
Saturday 25 May, 2013
12noon - 3pm
Join Cardiff University lecturer Dr Tomos Owen, author of Real Bloomsbury NicholasMurray, and writer Lewis Davies in exploring Welsh writers and their London lives. We will walk in the footsteps of cult gothic horror writer Arthur Machen, revered short story writer Rhys Davies, founding editor of the Everyman’s Library series Ernest Rhys and novelist Dorothy Edwards The tour includes readings and short talks in the streets and pubs of Soho and Fitzrovia, and finishes at The Wheatsheaf – a former haunt of Dylan Thomas, Augustus John and George Orwell for readings by poets from Wales, London and beyond.
Meet at Soho Writers Centre at 12.00 noon for the walk (it finishes at The Wheatsheaf at 3.00 pm). Book tickets through Literature Wales.
The Wheatsheaf Readings with Alan Kellermann, Jemma King, Dai George, Tim Wells, Susan Grindley, and Ian Pople.
Saturday 25th May, 2013
In the former Fitzrovian drinking haunt of Dylan and Caitlin Thomas, Augustus John and Nina Hamnett join poets from Wales, London and beyond for readings and a London Welsh social. There will be contemporary readings from the poets own work, as well as some highlights from the writers contained in our Library of Wales series. Scroll down for full details or visit the Facebook Event Page.
2. Riotous Rhondda with Rachel Trezise, Boyd Clack and Dai Smith
Saturday 8 June, 2013
Join Treorchy author Rachel Trezise, Rhondda-bred writer, singer and actor Boyd Clack and the Library of Wales series editor Professor Dai Smith for a bus tour through the ups and downs of Riotous Rhondda. Enjoy rolling commentary from Boyd Clack, readings from Rachel Trezise’s books in the places that inspired them, and extracts from local Library of Wales classics including works by Ron Berry, Rhys Davies, Gwyn Thomas and Alun Richards. Expect big views, tales of Tonypandy riots and a bookish encounter in a familiar Italian café.
3. Literary Ogmore
Saturday 18th May, 2013
Writers Tom Anderson and Dr Kate North cross the River Ogmore to explore the Merthyr Mawr sand dunes on horseback, delivering talks on Dr Dannie Abse’s time in Ogmore, and Tom Anderson’s sea and sense of place. To mark his 90th year, the afternoon will finish with drinks and an intimate reading and Q&A session with Dannie Abse at the stunningly located Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre – you can buy a ticket for this alone if horse trekking isn’t your thing. 12.30 pm – 5.00 pm (horse trek & reading, £36/£34 conc); 3.30 pm – 5.00 pm (reading only, £10/£8). In partnership with Parthian Books and Cardiff Metropolitan University.
4. R S Thomas's Eglwysfach with Damian Walford Davies and the birds of Ynys-hir. 
Saturday 7th September, 2013
Join Professor Damian Walford Davies in an exploration of the Ynys-hir estate, now a RSPB nature reserve, where RS Thomas spent many hours bird-watching. Thomas was particularly drawn to this area of outstanding natural beauty within the Dyfi estuary following his move from Manafon. The linkage between his poetry, nature and place will colour the talks en route, which will be followed by a short lecture at St. Michael’s in Eglwysfach, where Thomas was rector from 1954-1967. In partnership with Church in Wales & the RSPB. 2.00 pm – 5.30 pm, £8 (£6.50 conc). Part of the series of literary tours marking RS Thomas’ centenary year - visit www.rsthomas2013.org for further details.
To see the whole programme and more details visit http://www.literaturewales.org/news/i/142811/

'The Autobiography of a Super-tramp' is the Welsh Books Council's May Book of the Month!

The Autogiography of a Super-tramp by W. H. Davies has been named as the Welsh Books Council's English-language Book of the Month for May 2013


I have read it through from beginning to end, and would have read more of it had there been any more to read. 


George Bernad Shaw










William Henry Davies was born in a pub and learnt early in life to rely on his wits and his fists—and to drink. Around the turn of the century, when he was twenty- two, his restless spirit of adventure led him to set off for America, and he worked around the country taking casual jobs where he could, thieving and begging where he couldn’t. His experiences were richly coloured by the bullies, tricksters, and fellow-adventurers he encountered. He was thrown into prison in Michigan, beaten up in New Orleans, witnessed a lynching in Tennessee, and got drunk pretty well everywhere.
When George Bernard Shaw first read the Autobiography in manuscript, he was stunned by the raw power of its unvarnished narrative. It was his enthusiasm, expressed in the Preface, that ensured the initial success of a book now regarded as a classic.
With a foreword by broadcaster and foreign correspondent, Trevor Fishlock, this Library of Wales edition also includes the original preface by George Bernard Shaw, who was instrumental in the book’s first publication.
The Autobiography of a Super-tramp is available to buy on the Parthain store for £8.99 and is also available on eBook from all good online retailers. 


Jon Gower Continues his Library of Wales Reading Challenge with 'Voices of the Children'

Just at the point when the reader settles into the easy rhythm of quotidian life, Evans jerks him or her out of complacency, nowhere more than when the whole novel moves from realism to magic realism and a series of dreamlike incidents that might have graced a Gabriel Marquez novel. The moon lands in Jenkins the Milk’s green field. Various groups suggest ways of dealing with it, with some plumping for preaching at it! And then they roll the moon to the sea…
This fantastical writing sits surprisingly easily among the grittier material, the accounts of men and their hard labours, and the womenfolk’s travails, too, not to mention the strike and the soup kitchens which starve the kids and steal dignity from their parents.
Author, Broadcaster and Raconteur Jon Gower has undertaken the challenge to read all the titles in the current Library of Wales series, and review them. Are you joining in too? Do let us know.
Buy: Voices of the Children from the Parthian online bookshop for £7.99. This title is also available on ebook from all good online retailers.

Jon Gower Continues his Library of Wales Reading Challenge with 'Jampot Smith'

These tender, gently-delivered annals of teenage life with all its hesitancy, petulance and bubbling sexuality constitute one of the genuinely unexpected pleasures of perusing the Library of Wales series. Add to that the fact that it is one of very few fictions that take Llandudno as its backdrop and the case for its inclusion in the series is well nigh complete.  
It’s little wonder then that this novel, first published in 1960, is novelist Lloyd Jones’s favourite in the series, and that the historian Merfyn Jones supplies a paean of praise by way of preface. For it is a little wonder, full of delicate insight and shot through with the optimism and hormones of life on the cusp of adulthood, which will come all too soon for the young characters who populate its pages because of the war and its recruitments. 
Author, Broadcaster and Raconteur Jon Gower has undertaken the challenge to read all the titles in the current Library of Wales series, and review them. Are you joining in too? Do let us know.
Buy: Jampot Smith from the Parthian online bookshop for £7.99. This title is also available on ebook from all good online retailers.

Library of Wales enewsletter: April 2013


The Library of Wales is a Welsh Government project designed to ensure that all of the rich and extensive literature in Wales that has been written in English will now be made available to readers in and beyond Wales. The series is published by Parthian Books. See the full catalogue at http://thelibraryofwales.com/
Our April 2013 enewsletter contains updates on news, events, book launches and special offers on classic titles in the Library of Wales range as well as related titles also published by Parthian Books.

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