The Queen of Romance, Marguerite Jervis: A Biography by Liz Jones

Bookclub chaired by Natalia Elliot discussing The Queen of Romance by Liz Jones, a biography of Marguerite Jervis

PUBLISHED ON: 27/07/21

CATEGORY: Bookclub video

Bookclub discussing the biography, The Queen of Romance, by Liz Jones, about the mass-selling romance novelist Marguerite Jervis (1886-1964), who was …

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Hana

Chris Moss respects an imperfect novel about intergenerational trauma in wartime and Soviet Czech life, noting silence at contrapuntal play with booming survival guilt

PUBLISHED ON: 19/05/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

When a typhoid epidemic tears through the small town of Meziříčíin in 1953, nine-year-old Mira is orphaned and forced to turn to her aunt Hana. A woma …

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The Earth, Thy Great Exchequer, Ready Lies

This daring, assured debut, from a 2019’s BBC National Short Story awards winner, captures something tragicomic about the twenty-first century by having a hand – a quill, a biro – in each genre, writes Chris Moss

PUBLISHED ON: 03/05/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

This first story in this debut collection of nine, ‘My Bonny’, begins with a paragraph-length sentence that contains two em dashes, two sets of parent …

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Skomer Island: Its History and Natural History

Too close to Wales to be a miniature Galapagos, this island is nevertheless the most important place for wildlife in the country. Chris Moss concludes that this book is a truly comprehensive picture of this tiny spot on the map

PUBLISHED ON: 25/04/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

A botanist visiting Skomer in the early twentieth century described it as a ‘bird slum’. Certainly, the tiny lump of volcanic rock off the Pembrokeshi …

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A Track in Pentrefelin

Rose Rouse discovers the rich and ancient cultural history around Cefnymeysydd Isaf, Eifionydd

PUBLISHED ON: 01/04/21

CATEGORY: Column, Essays, Memoir

I call it a track – it’s a lane – because I feel like a pilgrim every time I go up it from my partner’s farmhouse, Cefnymeysydd Isaf, which is hidden …

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Secret Britain: Unearthing Our Mysterious Past

Amy Aed discovers worlds and wonders right beneath her feet

PUBLISHED ON: 27/01/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

Secret Britain: Unearthing Our Mysterious Past is an informative, immersive book, into which the author weaves poetry, dusting old stories with magic. …

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The Works of Gwerful Mechain [A Broadview Anthology of British Literature edition]

Chris Moss notes that sex and the sacred were sweaty bedfellows in Medieval literature, and delights in these vivacious and deftly constructed translations that positively bounce along, shining a light on this worthy, if less prolific, rival to Chaucer and Dafydd ap Gwilym

PUBLISHED ON: 26/01/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

As every schoolgirl or boy lucky enough to be introduced to Chaucer knows, sex and the sacred were sweaty bedfellows during the Medieval period. If th …

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Welsh Writing in English, 1536–1914, The First Four Hundred Years (The Oxford Literary History of Wales: Volume 3)

Stephen Wade praises a book of sheer comprehensiveness, at once a compendious resource for reference use and a good read, packed with profiles of writers great and small, and with an emphasis on neglected or unknown female writers

PUBLISHED ON: 26/01/21

CATEGORY: Reviews

In 1811, Harriet Browne wrote some original verse on folded sheets of paper, the subject being Deganwy Castle. Her Liverpool family moved to Denbighsh …

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The Lives and Extraordinary Adventures of Fifteen Tramp Writers from the Golden Age of Vagabondage

Chris Moss finds that there is something romantic and true about the fourteen men and one woman who lived first, wrote afterwards, and saw in the tramping life a mode of being that was more meaningful than home-focused domestic existence

PUBLISHED ON: 03/11/20

CATEGORY: Reviews

Jim Phelan, in collection of Ian Cutler   An extensive list of words for people of no fixed abode in the introduction to this book reminds us how …

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Well-laid Hedges and Cider

Jim Pratt failed all his exams and was gently advised by his father to get a job. He recalls his first forestry posting at Osbaston, near the council’s rubbish tip in Monmouth, in 1960

PUBLISHED ON: 03/11/20

CATEGORY: Memoir

‘Coming to Mrs Wallet’s?’ Tom Johns was lighting his bicycle lamp, shielding the rather damp match that he had taken from a small tin and struck on hi …

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