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VINE VOICEon 25 June 2010
I regularly set quizzes in my welsh local, and I thought that this book would be a great little source of questions. The trouble is that it has been carelessly put together, and many of the so-called facts are just plain wrong. Case in point. On the Breconshire page it says that the Brecon Beacons became Wales' first National Park in 1957. Then on the Caernarfonshire pages it says that Snowdonia became a National Park in 1951 ! That's just careless and lazy. There are other examples, but I'm sure you get my drift. The great shame of this is that it is a great idea for a book, but if you do something like this you have to really make an effort to get things right. This is just too slipshod. An opportunity wasted.
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on 21 April 2016
rather a disappointment , a lot more could have been written and more accurately about many areas of Wales eg. Monmouthshire.
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on 31 May 2010
Like all this series, this is good fun and well produced. But whoever gave Ralph Vaughan Williams a knighthood in the Index had better watch out at the Pearly Gates - the one honour he was adamant about not accepting.
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on 20 February 2013
Excellently written and something every welsh person should have, certainly opened my eyes and impressed the wife as she is welsh.
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on 18 May 2013
This book is ideal for anyone with any affection with Wales. Packed with fascinating gems of information to make visits and travel through Wales more rewarding. Topics not covered in great depth but can be the inspiration for further reading and research. Small size makes it easy to drop into luggage.
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on 5 December 2012
Concise, easy read but could use more depth. Sectioned as to locality, this makes research less difficult. There's so much more to learn about Wales.
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on 8 February 2014
Bought this book for my mother. We enjoyed listening to the repeat the chapters that she had read. thank you
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on 10 December 2014
My homeland enjoyed
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on 8 June 2016
As someone who has spent several years researching the Morgans of Tredegar House, Newport South Wales and as the author of several books on them I have to say the reference in this book to Katharine Carnegie, Lady Tredegar is entirely fiction. It is also offensive to the memory of the person in question, and to her surviving family. Katharine suffered a series of traumas in her life and was the victim of several disabling conditions. Whilst eccentric she was maligned by her son Evan ( a man who had a mother fixation) with his irrational references to her foibles that were only ever intended as being a joke. The joke got out of hand, and the stories grew up and out of all proportion to the facts.

The distasteful passage in this book is as follows:-

“Lady Katharine Carnegie, thought she was a bird, and would go about the house making nests where she could roost. Apparently, when hungry, she would emit a noise something like a jackdaw and a footman would appear with her favourite tiffin, a dish of corn seed, steeped in medium sherry.”

Like many tales of the Morgans from the time of this publication’s creation a great deal of the detail and anecdotes about them were purely invented – or uplifted from similar books with an earlier publication date, but with the same source. The originators were the Tredegar House staff who were charged with selling the attractions of visiting the House - which is a gem anyway without its past characters being lied.about and abused. All the nonsense – including this story of Katharine was based on a need to market the House and jazz up some of the tales told to visitors. So many stories, myths and legends have been created on flimsy or contradictory evidence, or no evidence at all. As a result there are many bad taste and bad history tales that need to be outed and expunged. The current management of Tredegar House is in the hands of the National Trust who say they intend to burst these myths – top of the list of worst myths – lies in fact - being the several nasty references such as the one here to Lady Katharine Carnegie.

Katharine hardly set foot in Tredegar House, she left her unsuited husband, Courtenay, the 3rd Lord Tredegar in the early years of their marriage and maintained a London home and a home in Surrey. Although of a nervous disposition and someone who had a strong headiness and someone who was often stubborn, she was brought up to do the right thing by others less fortunate than she was and less privileged.

Katharine never hesitated to support good charitable causes, including the Welsh regiments in the Great War and campaigns for greater appreciation of art, music and particularly the opera. She opened up her London home as a war hospital for the Royal Flying Corps and gave funding to support it. She was also a talented painter and designer of stain glassed windows. Painted twice by the Welsh artist Augustus John and also by Ambrose McEvoy – these are amongst the more praiseworthy references that should be declared in a book of this kind.
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on 8 August 2014
Born and lived there for 20years, learnt more in one reading than in the two decades-great piece of work
K
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