THE WELSH ALMANAC

THE BOOK OF WELSH SAINTS

by T.D.Breverton

Hardback, Colour dust jacket, 48 Illustrations
608 pages, ISBN 1-903529-01-8

Signed Edition Limited to 1000 Copies.

Price 24.99

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'A lovely, intriguing book' - Peter Williams, Britannica.com

'Is there truth in the notion that to build a country anew one has to know something of the glory of the past? T.D.Breverton's new offering is another rallying call to Wales to rediscover its own history. Wales is owed a debt by the entire world for providing a foothold for the (Christian) religion in the West' - Phil Davies, The Western Mail

The magical and fascinating world of 'The Age of Saints' in Wales paralleled 'The Dark Ages' across the rest of Europe. It was the time of Arthur, of Roman rule being replaced by Celtic Christian nobles, of constant fighting against pagan invaders from England, Ireland, Germany and Scandinavia. This much-needed book tells us of Welsh influences on the Christian world from the time of just after Christ's death, to the martyrs of the Reformation and Civil War. Over 800 Welsh saints are brought to life in these pages, with their traditions, 6th century healing wells, pilgrimage centres, the customs in their villages and the like, in an attempt to revive 'feast-weeks' of celebration across Wales the year round. Open its pages and turn to the questions at the end of Chapter 1 to discover what Wales - the country with the longest unbroken Christian tradition in Europe - has given the civilised world. The result of six years' research, this huge work at last places King Arthur securely in his homeland of Glamorgan and Gwent.

The book also explores the role of the Welsh in 1st century Rome in the survival of Christianity, and how the Yellow Plague and the waste lands of Arthurian legend are inter-related. 'Feast Weeks' were the highlight of the Welsh year, and were held at all times of the year. A plan is given in the book to reinstitute these across the country, leading to economic regeneration opportunities. This is not a ‘dry’, academic tome, but an attempt to bring to light Wales’ heritage. If there are insightful anecdotes about an area, they are included. If a saint is associated with Arthur, this is mentioned. (There are over 100 related to him). Famous people from the saints ‘llannau’ are included. Some of the answers to the following questions may be found in the following pages:

Did the 'Virgin Queen', Elizabeth I, have a secret child? (see Collen);
Why does Glasgow's city crest feature a fish with a ring? (see Kentigern and Rhydderch);
Who was King Arthur? (see Arthur and Armel);
Was Elvis Presley of Welsh origin? (see Ailbe);
What is the link between Wales and the first house used for Christian worship in Rome? (see Claudia, Bran and Eurgain);
Did St Paul preach in London? (see Paul);
When was the first Harvest Festival? (see Mwynwen);
Where is the oldest unbroken Christian tradition in the world? (see Bran);
Who was the Patron Saint of travellers before Christopher? (see Elen);
Why was the carol 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' important for Catholics? (see Carols);
Where is the stone upon which Arthur executed Hywel? (see Hywel);
Who was Sir Gawain? (see Govan);
Which Christianity stayed unaltered from the leaving of the Roman legions around 400 until the 12th century?
(see Elfod, Celtic Christianity);
What is a Kemble Pipe? (see Kemble);
Is the Holy Grail in Wales? (see Holy Grail);

The Origin of Elvis!!

Upon 5th June, 2000, the author took part in a GMTV breakfast news transmission from St Elvis Farm. Intense media interest was stirred up by a full-page Daily mail article of Friday, 2nd June, Elvis the Welshman, published while Terry Breverton was working in Italy. The author recieived telephone calls from the BBC and other media while in Italy, and returned home to find that there were messages to contact from BBC Radio 1,2,4,5 BBC Wales and BBC World Service, Capital Gold, The Big Breakfast and GMTV television shows, and that there had also been articles in The Guardian, Times Sunday Times, and a full page in the Daily Mirror. The news went as far as the Sidney Morning Herald, being featured online by the BBC, ITN and Reuters news services across the world. A Mail reporter had read a short note in the author's " An A-Z of Wales and the Welsh", and devised the article, making the author a 'professor of history at Cardiff University', rather than a Senior Lecturer in marketing at UWIC Business School. However, the two live transmissions from St Elvis Farm, complete with an Elvis impersonator singing Ican't help falling in love with you (ewe)' and Blue Suede Ewes (Shoes)' and the Haverfordwest Male Voice Choir, allowed the author to study the area in more depth. His findings were remarkable.

 

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