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Glyndwr - Son of Prophecy
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This book is a triumph: an eloquent novel of only 143 pages, giving the reader an insight into the early years of Owen Glyndwrs battle for Welsh independence from the English throne. The year on which Moelwyn Jones focuses his tale is 1401, when Henry Bolingbroke was King Henry IV of England and, in particular, on the capture of Conwy Castle, instigated by the two brothers Rhys and Gwilym ap Tudor. Im not a great aficionado of the Middle Ages, but I was mesmerised by the political intrigue and the continual switching of sides within the English and Welsh camps. Interestingly it is just such a switch we witness in Thomas, a carpenter and burgher of the town of Conwy, who is forced by Gwilym and Rhys to gain them entry to the castle, where he has been working for some time. Thomas, an Englishman, moved to the town from Chester when his wife and children died of the plague. With no wish to die himself, as threatened by the brothers, Thomas capitulates easily, going on to become totally integrated in the Welsh force, and even falling in love with an Anglesey girl. There are two strong threads within Joness work. One concerns the tactics of the battle to rid the Welsh of the English, and the other concerns the story of Thomas and his conversion to the ideals of the Welsh. The pace, though not electric, is fast and I found I couldnt put the book down. I was so engrossed by Joness characters, I needed to know the outcome. The Welsh had to come out on top and, what is more, Thomas had to survive. Moelwyn Jones is now deceased; his career had been far-reaching. Brought up in Carmarthen, he went on to teach Welsh and history in Cardiff, and then became an Information Officer at the BBC. Later he became Head of Public Relations for Wales. Latterly, in retirement, he worked in the Welsh Assembly. Fortunately Jones, who had a passionate interest in the life of Owen Glyndwr, completed a trilogy, the first part of which was Glyndwr: Son of Prophecy. I certainly look forward to reading the other two parts. Norma Penfold It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru. -- Welsh Books Council

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