The Corn is Green by Emlyn Williams

bookshelves: period-piece, britain-wales, published-1941, play-dramatisation, summer-2014, amusing

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Read on August 11, 2014

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04d0kl1

Description: Miss Moffat, an English spinster, settles in a Welsh mining village where she starts a school for the boys of the neighborhood. Morgan Evans shows promise and Miss Moffat determines to do everything possible for him. Against the prejudice of local folk and the wealthy squire, she manages to make good, and in Morgan she finds a young man who will go far. She at last persuades the squire to lend his support, and she prepares the boy to apply for a scholarship to Oxford. Morgan, however, rebels against help from a woman and temporarily succumbs to the charm of a flashy girl. His mistaken sense of obligation nearly ruins his chances of success, and Miss Moffat realizes that her interest in him has become too absorbing. However, her affection for him, her courage and wisdom in the end bring her victory; Morgan wins the scholarship, and Miss Moffat’s work comes to a happy conclusion.

BBC Blurberoonies: Scene: Glansarno, a small village in a remote Welsh countryside. Teacher Miss Moffat is determined to win local miners over to her English ways in this semi-autobiographical work by Emlyn Williams. Time: a period of three years in the latter part of the 19th century.

Tongue in cheek fun at expense of the Chapel, Child Labour, Zenophobia, Misogeny, Blue-stocking Idealism and Willing Repression. Wonderful fun

Best line: ‘Leave those flowers to die a natural death in their beds’

Miss Moffat: Gladys Young.
Morgan Evans: Richard Burton.
Welsh folk songs sung by boys from Aberdare County School.
Adapted for broadcasting by T Rowland Hughes. Produced by PH Burton.
First broadcast on Saturday Night Theatre – BBC Home Service 27th January 1945

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Up Into The Singing Mountain by: Richard Llewellyn

This is the sequel to How Green is My Valley and it starts out with young Huw Morgan traveling to Patagonia to release himself from Bron, whom he so desperately wants but cannot live with together as a couple due to valley ethics of not loving a brother’s widow. Promptly upon landing in Argentina he comes face to face with bigotry, cruelty and hypocrisy that he had hoped had been left back in the valleys.It is a view into the lives of Welsh émigrés to Patagonia along the lines of the Swedish émigrés to Minnesota as captured by Moberg but with none of the sparkle; it was hard to keep on with the read. Let’s hope the third installment of the saga will be more enthralling; Down where the Moon is Small is on my TBR pile though it will be a while before I feel brave enough to open the pages.

The Shadow of War (The Great War, #1) by Stewart Binns

bookshelves: wwi, series, net-galley, e-book, historical-fiction, published-2014, summer-2014, britain-wales, plague-disease

Read from July 13 to 15, 2014

 

Description: The Shadow of War is the first novel in Stewart Binns’s new series which will see a book release for each year of the First World War. This is a story of love and comradeship, of hatred and tragedy – this is the story of the Great War.

June 1914: the beginning of another long, prosperous summer for Britain. But beneath the clear skies, all is not as it seems – the chill wind of social discontent swirls around this sceptred isle.

Shots ring out in a distant European land – the assassination of a foreign aristocrat. From that moment the entire world is propelled into a conflict unlike any seen before.

This is the story of five British communities, their circumstances very different, but who will all share in the tragedy that is to come. All that they have known will be changed forever by the catastrophic events of the Great War.

The Shadow of War, the first novel in The Great War series from Stewart Binns, is a thrilling read and perfect for those who enjoy the writing of Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell.

Stewart Binns began his professional life as an academic. He then pursued several adventures, including a stint at the BBC, before settling into a career as a schoolteacher, specializing in history. Later in life a lucky break took him back to the BBC, which was gthe beginning of a successful career in television. He has won a BAFTA, a Grierson, an RTS and a Peabody for his documentaries. Stewart’s passion is English history especially its origins and folklore. His previous Making of England series: Crusade, Conquest, Anarchy and Lionheart, were published to great acclaim.

Dedication: To all those who endured the Great War

Opening: PART ONE, JUNE: Champagne and Plovers’ Eggs: Assembly Rooms, Presteigne, Radnorshire:

The Reverend Henry Kewley, rector of St Andrew’s, Presteigne, is in full flow. Tall, silver-haired and supremely self-confident, he has been holding bi-monthly meetings for the town’s business community for the past year. There has been a lengthy and tedious debate about the calibre of the town’s police force and the condition of its jail, but Kewley is now addressing the issue of Presteigne’s future livelihood.

Broad St., Presteigne

A solid read where I will look for the next episode this time next year. However, this Great War Trilogy is rather too similar in set up to Ken Follet’s ‘The Century Trilogy’ to award it any stars for innovation.

Signing up.

Isle of White

Dylan Thomas by John Goodby

bookshelves: radio-3, britain-wales, lit-crit, poetry, essays, nonfiction, published-2001, under-10-ratings, fradio, spring-2014

Read from May 07 to 10, 2014


Dylan admires ……. the medieval Laugharne castle. The foreground shows the rear view of the wooden sculpture of Dylan Thomas set in the Millennium Garden

Recorded at the Laugharne Live Festival, in the grounds of Laugharne Castle, West Wales. Five leading writers and artists reflect on the ways in which they connect with one of Wales’s most famous cultural exports, Dylan Thomas.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b042bk3l

Dylan Thomas Centenary

Episode 1: Professor John Goodby is one of the world’s most respected academic authorities on the poetry of Dylan Thomas. Using poems such as the radiant “In the White Giant’s Thigh”, “And death shall have no dominion” and “A Refusal to Mourn” he explores how the boundaries which Dylan Thomas crossed in both life and art have made it difficult for critics to pigeon-hole his legacy.

Episode 2: Andrew Davies reflects on the influence of Dylan Thomas on a child growing up in Wales in the 1950s, with aspirations to be a writer. A day trip to Rhossili beach and a Cornish pasty chimed with Davies’s role model’s account in “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog”, but was this the gateway to a future as a poet?

Episode 3: The poet and writer Gwyneth Lewis, whose words are emblazoned over Wales Millennium Centre, takes a personal journey through the language of Dylan Thomas. She argues that to appreciate the work fully we must understand the poet’s rigorous practice and detailed knowledge of poetic history and tradition.

Millenium Centre

Episode 4: Linking up from New York, writer, poet and activist Kevin Powell looks at Dylan Thomas’s far-reaching influence on Black American writers, from his own introduction to Thomas’s words in the new poetry and spoken-word scene happening in New York in the early 90s, to the new wave of Black American artists inspired through hip-hop, spoken word and America’s oral tradition.

Episode 5: Poet and musician Twm Morys explores the links between Wales’s poetic heritage and Dylan Thomas’s writing. Drawing on memories of living in Thomas’s hometown of Swansea, he considers whether Thomas’s writing is universally acknowledged to represent the cultural landscape that nurtured its creation. [I loved this one]

Dylan Thomas reads After the Funeral (In Memory of Ann Jones)

Listen also to 120 mins from the Live Festival: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b042bk3d

I have spent many a day on Rhossili and it is as beautiful, and as long, as described:

The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas

bookshelves: spring-2014, britain-wales, fraudio, india, newtome-author, published-2011, adventure, travel

Read from April 26 to 28, 2014

 

Read by Nerys Hughes

Description: Spanning decades and moving from the stark beauty of the Welsh landscape to the Himalayas and Kashmir, this is a story of bravery, courage and love.Within one exotic land lie the secrets of a lifetime…Newlywed Nerys Watkins leaves rural Wales for the first time in her life, to accompany her husband on a missionary posting to India. Travelling from lonely Ladakh, high up in the Himalayas, Nerys discovers a new world in the lakeside city of Srinagar. Here, in the exquisite heart of Kashmir, the British live on carved wooden houseboats and dance, flirt and gossip as if there is no war.But the battles draw ever closer, and life in Srinagar becomes less frivolous when the men are sent away to fight. Nerys is caught up in a dangerous friendship, and by the time she is reunited with her husband, the innocent Welsh bride has become a different woman.Years later, when Mair Ellis clears out her father’s house, she finds an exquisite antique shawl, woven from the finest yarns and embroidered in the shades of lake water and mountain skies. Wrapped within its folds is a lock of child’s hair. Tracing her grandparents’ roots back to Kashmir, Mair embarks on a quest that will change her life forever.

A lovely story about searching for roots, and includes just about everything you would ever need to know about kasmiri yarn, cashmere, from goat to shawl. Missionary work is a horrible idea isn’t it – imagine having a bible black, fire and brimstone Chapel minister ramming a harsh God down your throat: oh! those colonial ideas. **shudder**

The Horns of the Buffalo

bookshelves: winter-20132014, tbr-busting-2014, published-2004, fraudio, historical-fiction, under-100-ratings, afr-s-africa, britain-wales, first-in-series, newtome-author, victoriana, series, palate-cleanser

Read from February 13 to 14, 2014

Book………………The Horns of the Buffalo
Author…………….John Wilcox
Series…………….Simon Fonthill
No………………..01
Narrator…………..Graham Padden
Abr/Unabr………….Unabridged
Genre……………..Adventure
Source…………….20 Tapes

COVER BLURBS:In 1879, the British redcoats are universally regarded as the finest fighting force in the world. Among them is Lieutenant Simon Fonthill, dispatched to South Africa with much to prove: for Colonel Covington, his former Commanding Officer, has slanderously branded him a coward. In the Cape, tension is high. The Zulus, an independent nation of magnificently militant tribesmen, threaten the colonial government’s vision of a united South Africa. And Simon has been chosen for a particularly dangerous mission: to travel deep into Zululand to discover the intentions of the king. Simon encounters violence and imprisonment before he is faced with his greatest challenge. Escaping from the massacre at the Battle of Isandlwana, he must warn the tiny garrison at Rorke’s Drift of the threat posed by advancing Zulu impis. He has a chance to prove Covington a liar, but he may pay the ultimate price.

About The Author: John Wilcox. An inability to do sums and a nascent talent to string words together steered me towards journalism – that and the desire to wear a trenchcoat, belted with a knot, just like Bogart.

About The Reader: Graham Padden. Graham’s work on screen includes Doctor Who, Casualty, The Kindness of Strangers, Why We Went to War, Derailed, Casanova. He has been heard in many radio dramas, including David Edgar’s Playing with Fire, Lorna Doone, Blake’s 7, and The Archers. He has recorded 60 audio books. He has had 3 plays produced.

A story of Rourke’s Drift. Excellent writing, lovely narration and I especially liked 352 Jenkins.

3* The Horns of the Buffalo

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The Devil’s Music by Alan Plater

bookshelves: winter-20132014, britain-wales, published-2003, music, women, under-10-ratings, radio-4x, play-dramatisation, fradio, families, re-visit-2014

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Laura
Read from January 31 to February 01, 2014

Listen here

Thankee Laura!

1/3 When Megan keeps playing a mystery melody in rehearsals for a jazz festival, she turns musical detective. Stars Rakie Ayola.

2/3 The Great Pork Pie Mystery: Musical detective Megan’s mystery melody quest leads her to a 1920s Swansea tearoom. Stars Rakie Ayola and Margaret John.

3/3 Beacons: Musical detective Megan’s mystery melody quest comes full circle when she gets a surprise. Stars Rakie Ayola.

Brecon Jazz! ooo yeah, I have SO been there, portakabins notwithstanding and plastic pint glasses ‘n’ all! Also think I must of listened to this back in 03 as it is very familiar!