Sunday, April 27, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Now I'd like to say a word or two in favour of this work, and not just because Evan Thomas's mother, Jane Evans, came from the tranquil Radnorshire parish of Aberedw. For this is a revolutionary work, completed in that year of Revolution,1848. It appeared at a time when the very idea of Wales had been expunged from the consciousness of the British state with the abolition of the last surviving Welsh institution, the Court of Great Sessions in 1830. In a legal sense Wales no longer existed.
The work won the prize of 70 guineas at the Eisteddfod at Abergavenny organised by Lady Llanover and it was surely these romantic nationalists who planted the seed of later national revival. So yes, it is a revolutionary work, a work that shouted out in defiance that Wales continued to exist, despite the obvious wishes of the British state. Will the works promised for the inner-gateway have similar fire in their belly? Somehow I doubt it.
Monday, April 07, 2008
His love of motoring and racing began at a very early age in Scotland and over the course of his long career in journalism, he wrote down many of the tales of his childhood and youth, as well as his adventures as a Grand Prix driver for Lotus and exponent of long distance sports car racing. He knew a vast number of people associated with racing and other sports and was given a free hand to recount his stories. Some of the tales are very personal, many reflect on the highs and painful lows of racing, and there are episodes clearly born out of his love of driving good cars.
Motor racing historian Ed Mcdonough has taken the original transcripts of Innes’ articles, with the co-operation of Jean Ireland, and edited them into this collection of tales, adding many photographs not previously published. They demonstrate the depth of Ireland’s passions and his skill as a writer and story teller.
Now where have I seen that cover photo before?
Sunday, April 06, 2008
One fact that the author fails to note in his brief historical sketch is that during the sixteenth century Hugh Myles of Evenjobb was the owner of the Book of Taliesin, one of the most important sources for Welsh, if not World literature. By the way the bard Lewis Glyn Cothi had seen the manuscript at nearby Harpton a hundred years before it came into Hugh Myles' possession, see here.
I'm afraid, like it or not, as soon as you begin to study Radnorshire's history in any depth, its essential Welshness comes bursting through the thin veneer of Anglicization.