Did you know that some of the world’s favorite authors and poets are Welsh? Many writers hail from Wales or were influenced by the remarkable Welsh landscape and heritage.
To name a few…
You may know Dylan Thomas, a true Welsh son, but did you know that Ken Follett and Roald Dahl are both Welsh? How about Bertrand Russell, Dick Francis or Phillip Pullman? Beatrix Potter was a regular visitor and wrote the Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies in Wales and C.S. Lewis’ grandfather and great grandfather were Welsh.
Want to understand the origins of the Welsh literary tradition?
Go back in time and read the inspired medieval cywydd (strict-metre poetry) of Daffyd ap Gwilym, or the panegyric verse (praise verse) of Taliesin, or the epic sagas of warriors and kings in the 6th century Y Gododdin (which may contain the earliest known reference to King Arthur). Interestingly, the still-relevant Y Gododdin (translated into modern English) is available on amazon!
Why such a substantial oeuvre from one tiny country?
I like to think it’s the rare natural beauty, ancient traditions, and enchanting Welsh language that naturally inspires extraordinary creativity in its inhabitants and sojourners. What do you think?
A mecca for bibliophiles
Finally, for all you bibliophiles, Wales offers a mecca of sorts in the town of Hay-on-Wye (sometimes just called “Hay”). Located on the border between England and Wales, this picturesque village, named the National Book Town of Wales, sits at the base of the Brecon Beacons and lists 23 secondhand bookstores on its home website.
The 30th annual Hay Festival, a literary festival once hailed by Bill Clinton as “The Woodstock of the mind”, will be held May 25 to June 4, 2017.
Interested in visiting the homes or inspirational landscape of Welsh writers and poets? Just give us a ring and we’ll plan your trip for you and/or take you on a guided tour!
Additional resources on Welsh literature
[Photo at top is one of the many outdoor bookstores in Hay-on-Wye. Source: From the Grapevine]