Sunday, April 27, 2008

Book of the Month

I'm really enjoying dipping into this book at the moment, another excellent offering from that marvellous Herefordshire publishing house Logaston Press. The book has been out for quite a while and I'm afraid I must have dismissed it as one of those fey works about Wales you sometimes get from English authors. Big Mistake. The book is solidly historical and it's 250 plus pages are full of interest and many facts about Radnorshire of which I was blissfully unaware.

A few minor quibbles, but just one for now. The author repeats the story of Elen Gethin of Hergest Court deliberately killing her cousin Sion Hir during an archery contest in Llanddewi Ystradenni churchyard. Like many an author before him Mr Palmer translates Gethin - not a surname of course - as meaning terrible. Now Elen was the subject of many bardic poems, all of which call her Gethin - something they would be unlikely to do if it meant terrible! No the sobriquet Gethin in names like this means olive-skinned, so Elen the olive-skinned, not Elen the terrible.

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