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With simple elegance and grace, renowned travel writer Morris (Pax Britannica) reflects on her home in Wales, its beautiful setting and the nature of being Welsh. First in a series of literary travel memoirs, this slim and charming volume offers a crisp account of the turbulent history of the Welsh and their battle to maintain their language and culture in the shadow of their more powerful neighbor. Weaving in some Welsh poetry and lore along the way, Morris leads readers on a winding road ("didn't I say we were long-winded?") to her home. "We called the building Trefan Morys, partly after the estate, partly after the Welsh spelling of my surname; and so it was I told you to be patient! that this modest old structure, built for livestock, became instead a Writer's House in Wales." Morris delivers a jaunty tour in lively, lighthearted prose. From the scent of burning wood to the bilingual weathervane atop the cupola, readers are transported by rich, romantic detail and the author's warmth. Sweetened with her observations on the architecture, countryside, neighbors, the past and the future of her country, this little book is a satisfying brew. Trefan Morys is vividly and lovingly described: the cat Ibsen, the book tower, the "untidy yard," the mystical woods surrounding the property. Via her home, her writing and her beloved Wales, Morris defiantly preserves her identity in the face of a rapid-fire communications culture. The book is humble yet astute, homespun yet profound. (Jan.)Forecast: Fans of Morris will be thrilled to have another small volume to add to their collection, especially since she claimed that the publication of this year's Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere (Forecasts, Aug. 20) was to be her last.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Morris is an esteemed journalist, historian, and author of over 40 books, including The World of Venice and The Matter of Wales. In her latest effort, which launches this new series of travel memoirs, she writes about Trefan Morys, her country home in a remote corner of Wales. Starting at her house, Morris wanders lovingly through the history of Wales as well as her own life, and discusses how the two have combined to create the structure and atmosphere that she calls home. She walks the reader through the house, retelling the thoughts, sensations, and smells she has experienced there. When describing the kitchen, for example, she starts with physical details, then discusses the history and present nature of Welsh hospitality and food, and ends by detailing the smells of a lunch she would offer to a visitor. The historical explanations and glimpses into Welsh culture are masterfully woven into the narrative and include fascinating details, such as the recipe for sgotyn, a dish composed of bread, boiling water, and salt and pepper. This beautifully written and absorbing book is recommended for all libraries. [Forthcoming books in this series include Rubert Hughes revisiting Barcelona, W.S. Merwin writing on Provence, and more. Ed.] Alison Hopkins, Queens Borough P.L., New York
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.See all Editorial Reviews
This book was a gift to my friend who returns to Wales every year if possible. She was thrilled and remarked that it captures life in Wales perfectly.Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
Jan Morris is a prolific author, though probably best known for her travel literature. Her works have an understated, sometimes detached quality that for me never quite captures... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Acorn
I bought this book for my aunt, thinking she would enjoy it because our ancestors are from Cornwall, England...next door neighbors to Wales. Read morePublished on August 25, 2013 by Carol
And an interesting subject. I would recommend this book to lovers of Wales, Jan Morris, or travel in general. Check out other Morris's books, too.Published on July 18, 2013 by Meviews
I very much like Morris's sensibility and writing. I like the way she brings the reader into the house to experience the place and furnishings she describes. Read morePublished on July 14, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Over the years I enjoyed several books by Jan Morris. I also have a desire to know somewhat more about Wales. Read morePublished on December 7, 2009 by R. M. Peterson
While most travel journals are written by tourists (travelers if you must) who have either just become acquainted with the town they are writing about or have adopted it as their... Read morePublished on January 27, 2009 by C. Nogar