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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Englishman in Wales..
It has been said you will likely learn more about George Borrow than about Wales when reading this book (1862). It is well worth reading, but the sub-title (The people, language and scenery) is very misleading! Borrow was a Norfolk man, with a passion for all things Welsh, and proud of the knowledge of Welsh he acquired from books. One of his many eccentricities was a...
Published on 2 July 2010 by Peter Buckley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
So much talk about mid- wales and on prembrokeshine. more like to tell where to go, it good reading.Got it next day..
Published 5 months ago by John


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Englishman in Wales.., 2 July 2010
By 
Peter Buckley "peter15115" (Dyfed, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wild Wales (Paperback)
It has been said you will likely learn more about George Borrow than about Wales when reading this book (1862). It is well worth reading, but the sub-title (The people, language and scenery) is very misleading! Borrow was a Norfolk man, with a passion for all things Welsh, and proud of the knowledge of Welsh he acquired from books. One of his many eccentricities was a habit of correcting the Welsh of his tolerant listeners! I hope by quoting the following encounter at an inn at `Gutter Vawr' (Goitre Fawr), a sense of his enthusiastic style and attitude may be discerned. This was after all, the era of Stanley and Livingstone ( "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"), and before the English went forth empire building, they practiced nearer home. Borrow was never slow to air an opinion, but displayed a generosity of spirit in contrast with many of his contemporaries. Most men of his standing, in the mid 1800's, would consider it beneath their dignity to even acknowledge the presence of the people Borrow happily converses with. What a contrast to today's hectic pace, was Borrows' casual scheme to leisurely walk the length of Wales!
"Universal silence now prevailed; sullen looks were cast at me, and I saw clearly enough that I was not welcome.
Frankness was now my only resource. "What's the matter, gentlemen?" said I; "you are silent and don't greet me kindly; have I given you any cause of offence?" No one uttered a word in reply for nearly a minute, when the old man said slowly and deliberately: "Why, sir, the long and short of it is this: we have got it into our heads that you understand every word of our discourse; now, do you or do you not?"
"Understand every word of your discourse?" said I; "I wish I did; I would give five pounds to understand every word of your discourse."
"That's a clever attempt to get off, sir," said the old man, "but it won't exactly do. Tell us whether you know more Welsh than 'bara y caws', or to speak more plainly, whether you understand a good deal of what we say."
"Well," said I, "I do understand more Welsh than 'bara y caws' - I do understand a considerable part of a Welsh conversation; moreover, I can read Welsh, and have the life of 'Tom O'r Nant' at my fingers' ends."
"Well, sir, that is speaking plain, and I will tell you plainly that we don't like to have strangers among us who understand our discourse, more especially if they be gentlefolks."
"That's strange," said I; "a Welshman or foreigner, gentle or simple, may go into a public-house in England, and nobody cares a straw whether he understands the discourse of the company or not."
"That may be the custom in England," said the old man, "but it is not so in Wales."
"What have you got to conceal?" said I; "I suppose you are honest men."
"I hope we are, sir," said the old man; "but I must tell you, once for all, that we don't like strangers to listen to our discourse."
"Come," said I, "I will not listen to your discourse, but you shall listen to mine. I have a wonderful deal to say if I once begin; I have been everywhere."
"Well, sir," said the old man, "if you have anything to tell us about where you have been and what you have seen, we shall be glad to hear you."
"Have you ever been in Russia?" shouted a voice, "Oh yes, I have been in Russia," said I. "Well, what kind of a country is it?"
"Very different from Wales," said I, "which is a little country up in a corner, full of hills and mountains..."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really WILD Wales!, 30 July 2012
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This review is from: Wild Wales (Paperback)
What a fascinating record of 19th century Wales! George Borrow may annoy with his arrogance at times but the record of Wales at a very different time is wonderful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Wild Wales (Paperback)
So much talk about mid- wales and on prembrokeshine. more like to tell where to go, it good reading.Got it next day..
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Wild Wales
Wild Wales by George Borrow (Paperback - 29 July 2009)
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