Monday 1 March 2010

the best laid plans...

I got halfway through writing about Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi, and now my eyes are too bleary to continue... frailty thy name is apparently Simon.

Instead, I shall wish you a happy St. David's Day (as it draws to a close) and, in honour of the occasion, ask you to name your favourite book by a Welsh author...

Mine is the wonderful autobiography Under Storm's Wing by Helen Thomas, containing As It Was and World Without End, about her life with the poet Edward Thomas. It's over there -------> in the 50 Books, and is one of the most moving books I've ever read, the last paragraph has stayed with me ever since I read it.

Over to you... if in doubt, I'll accept anyone with the surname 'Thomas', 'Jones', or 'Llangochwellyn'.


  1. I must look for the Helen Thomas book. That's a stellar recommendation.

  2. In my American ignorance, I googled up "famous Welsh authors" and got this site to help me:
    I found many authors on my TBR shelf! And for favorites I have to say C.S. Lewis (who I always thought of as "British") and J.K. Rowling -- how's that for diversity?
    I'll be on the lookout for Helen Thomas, though.

  3. Wales is part of Britain dear "Susan in TX" and J K Rowling was born and educated at schools in Gloucestershire which borders Wales but is in England!

    My choice of Welsh author is the poet R S Thomas.

  4. And there was me thinking JKR was Scottish!

    I should have been clearer about Wales being part of Britain... I certainly know nothing at all about the majority of US states.

  5. The first book that came to mind was The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan, my favourite read of 2009.

  6. Ah, thank you Dark Puss for the clarification. I guess even knowing the "whole" is referred to as Great Britain, I tend to think of the Scots as Scottish, the Welsh as from Wales, and the "Brits" as from England proper --erroneous as that may be. I'm working on correcting that thinking. I realize many Europeans refer to all Americans as "yanks," but where I grew up, "yankee" was a derogatory term reserved for those who lived north of the Mason-Dixon line. ;) I'm glad to say I think the majority of us are getting over that!
    I thought that website was very insightful - I had never placed Roald Dahl, Ken Follett, or Jack London as Welsh.
    I tend to learn something every time I read your blog, Simon -- it keeps me feeling young! :)
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. I'm fairly sure CS Lewis was from Northern Ireland??
    (Which, just to further confuse you, isn't even part of Britain, but IS part of the U.K.!)


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