The book, "Horrible History-Wales" is very predicable and contains little history. The derision of the Welsh people and their achievements were disapointing. I would advise people to see the book, thumb through the book, but not buy it. It is meant for entertainment, but not for children who have some interest in history.
'Wales hasn't always been horrible. It was quite pleasant in 1306 and again in 1972...BUT...'
From the introduction:
'Imagine living in a country where the trees drip with human blood A country where dragons are out to roast you for dinner. And where lords invite you to dinner so they can massacre you. A country invaded by Viking sea-raiders from the west. They smash down your churches or set fire to them if you try to hide inside. And then Norman knights from the east arrive and build castles and churches (and kill a few peasants who get in their way)...'
The back cover goes on to enquire:
'Want to know:
* Why Druids split humans in half? * How the Normans outwitted the Welsh with a lump of ham? * How an army of Welsh mums fought off the French? * Discover the dreadful deeds that make the history of Wales so horrible - all the gore and more!
The Welsh colours are on the cover, which opens to 159 matt pages, split over chapters:
1. Early timeline 2. Heads and tales 3. Smashing Saxons 4. Bad bards 5. Vicious Vikings 6. Gruesome Gruffydd 7. Middle Ages timeline 8. Miserable Middle Ages 9. Power to the Princes 1 : Lots of Llywelyns 10. Power to the Princes 2 : Orful Owains 11. Terrible Tudors 12. Test your teacher 13. Mad modern timeline 14. Cruel crime 15. Painful punishments 16. Terrible tourist tales 17. Rotten religion 18. Miserable mines 19. People power
sandwiched between an introduction and an epilogue, with a 3-page 'interesting index' winding the book up.
Written with typical Deary humour in a variety of type styles to break up the text and keep the interest.
Interspersed with 'Did you know facts.......?' ,interesting footnotes and the odd quick question! Black & white illustrations throughout with some in cartoon format, from Martin Brown.
My children love horrible histories and this continues that tradition - but just on a personal note page 153 it confuses descendants with predecessors and then gets the descendant wrong - Rhodri Morgan First Minister is not a direct descendant of John Morgan - I am a descendant of John Morgan and he wasn't deported to Australia - that's why I live in the UK presumably.Maybe I'm nit picking! but excellent otherwise and may it get readers to challenge assertions and facts.
I like the series, they are funny and tell some of the lesser told parts of history. One have to remember that they are written for 10-15 year old-ish. the author have said that it is difficult not to write something wrong, because the first constants used to be considered the truth, but by the time the rest of the book had been written, those truths had been disproved. Also a good theme in the books is that you shouldn't always believe what a historian have written, because the winner writes the history.
I opened my parcel to discover the book was completely battered and looked more like something picked up second hand rather than a new book as expected. The edges of the book are damaged and the top right of the cover has been completely folded back. I'm not happy as this was meant to be a gift.
My daughter loves the Horrible Histories series and was really excited to see this one as she was born in Wales. She loves telling me about all the things she's read in here and relates them to other bits of history that she knows. Another great book from the series!
I bought this for my grandson who is moving to Wales. He is like most young boys, a somewhat reluctant reader, but likes the Horrible Histories series and I thought this would encourage him both to read and to find the move a bit of an adventure