For readers seeking a generic history of Wales, History Grounded by Elin Hughes is an awe-inspiring and magnificently presented insight into key historical facts and events that have affected Wales and its people.
Bringing Events to Life
This book is not stodgy or boring. Elin Hughes writes with a freshness that brings events and situations alive through the stimulating use of photographs, pictures, maps and illustrations. In a thought-provoking introduction, the author pinpoints how the past has marked our homes, lives and communities.
Elin highlights how readers had to search for their history. It wasn’t always written down or the “voices of the peasant” (gwerinwr), particularly women, were not valued. In fact, the children of Wales were given a distorted or false insight into their history.
The Red Dragon
This engaging book is a unique and challenging history of Wales with vivid written and illustrated stories. Readers will enjoy sections written from a Welsh perspective on:
- The Red Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch).
- Owain Glyndŵr.
- Henry VII – the Welsh King of England in 1485.
- Markets and market towns.
- Wales and the slave trade.
- The importance of seafaring on ports like Aberaeron and Pwllheli.
The sections on farming and the mining of iron ore, copper, gold, silver, coal and slate, alongside the introduction of watermills and windmills, tell an intriguing story of early Welsh industrialisation.
The pictorial evidence brings the events at Senghenydd (1913), Aberfan (1966), Penyberth (1930), the social implications of Tryweryn and the flooding of Cwm Celyn to life. Readers of all ages will find the review of the 20th century fascinating. Highlighting the struggles to preserve the Welsh language and the influence of influential Welsh men and women such as Aneurin Bevan, Ifan ab Owen Edwards and Eileen Beasley. Since 2022 the history of Wales has been made compulsory in all primary and secondary schools in Wales. I would recommend this book to those so far deprived of opportunities to learn the history of Wales, and it should be essential reading for history teachers at all levels.
History Grounded informs, illuminates and challenges the reader to understand and appreciate how the past affects and is so relevant to the present and future of their communities and society. Elin Jones should be congratulated on bringing the history of Wales, its people, and its struggles to life.
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