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Land of My Fathers: 2000 Years of Welsh History Paperback – 3 Jan 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Y Lolfa; New Ed edition (3 Jan 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0862432650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0862432652
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,734 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"...takes hold of their history in a human compass and with real power... --Gwyn Alf Williams

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

However tenuous traditions may appear to be, they often reveal more tenacity than political institutions which seem to be strong enough to last for ever. When the Roman Empire was at the height of its power the Celts of Gaul were taking delight in the arts of public speaking and poetry. Nora Chadwick tells us:
'Gaulish oratory was the most highly prized in the empire...Love of poetry is perhaps the characteristic of the ancient Gauls which impressed itself most deeply on the Romans; and of course native Gaulish poetry was purely oral.'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By N. H. Rees on 19 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a proud Welshman and realising that I knew very little about the history of Wales I looked for a book on that theme. I discovered this one on Amazon. Some books are just written in a way that you cannot put them down and this book is certainly in that category. It seems that I knew even less than I thought. Now I understand the way that we think as a nation and we are truly as our national anthem says a "land of poets and singers"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Saxton VINE VOICE on 22 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting reading; a history of Wales from the Welsh perspective. Gwynfor Evans tried to get it all into one volume and just about manages it. This is the work of a truly dedicated scholar.

It is also the work of someone with deeply-held nationalist beliefs and that does taint some areas of the book in that you can feel the weight of justification of actions in terms of race which isn't always a comfortable fit.

The endless reiterating of family ties can get confusing, especially when there are no family tree illustrations to help out. Also, it sometimes feels as if the reader is expected to know who all these people are which makes the writing feel somewhat exclusive.

There are also some areas where personal religious views are brought to bear on the narrative of history where they do not belong.

Though there are dates in the margin, they do not always follow a chronological order; one chapter may be followed by another which refers back to previous dates. This gets very confusing.

The content in general is fascinating and this is an important book as a record of the history of a very significant country in British terms as well as its own. It provokes a strong argument for highlighting the study of the history of the other countries that currently constitute Britain on their own terms, instead of being lumped as "part of the nation".

I would suggest it needs quite radical re-editing and expanding in order to clarify the historical chronology and personalities. There are also one or two annoying inconsistencies in spelling.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David Chapman on 9 July 2009
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book, well written and covering so much of the Welsh peoples history from 'day 1'. Much of this writers history follows the history of the Welsh language, and obviously 'loses his way' a little in the more modern history as this began to fade from Welsh culture and life in the major cities and Towns.
A more recent recovery of the language in popularity may well provide a fresh writer with better threads to link to the present Wales and Welsh life and culture.
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Format: Paperback
This book gives insight into the understanding and love of Wales from the perspective of a deeply passionate Welshman.

It took time for me to pick my copy up but as I read the continuity of the narrative spoke volumes as to how the author saw the birth and emerging vision of a proud nation up to the point of requiring political renewal and with its old language at the root of its culture. This book has imbued my sense of "belonging" and has highlighted my level of indebtedness to the author for maintaining the stance that he did.

It is well worth a read.
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Format: Paperback
I am only half-way through this and have never been so tempted to give up. The names are difficult. It's hard to work out who was fighting whom and remember why. The author is at his best when showing how an indomitable spirit has preserved the Welsh people. I have just read about Giraldus Cambriensis' literary efforts and how the law was written in Welsh. The author is inspired when he warms to his subject. I will persevere. I feared I would have to skim-read, as you can't digest the personalities and their interactions. I don't mind his anti-English stance, as it gives some interesting flourishes to round off the sections. Maybe his warmth towards this causes him to repeat himself.
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