Wales: Churches, Houses, Castles

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9780141024127: Wales: Churches, Houses, Castles
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From the great citadels of Caernarvon, Harlech, Powis and Beaumaris in the north, to the Victorian glories of Cardiff in the south, St David's cathedral ('the loveliest church in Wales') in the west to the exquisite little hill church of Patrishow in the east, from Plas Newydd above the Menai Straits to the romantic citadel of Carreg Cennan in the heart of the country, the buildings of Wales embody its history and are the equal of any in the British Isles. Simon Jenkins has travelled, it seems, every mile of the country to celebrate, and in some cases to find the very best of them, and irresistibly conveys in this book his enthusiasm for them. Cumulatively they amount to a cultural history of Wales by one of its most devoted sons. Anyone who is visiting Wales or who loves it will want to own this glorious book.

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About the Author:

Simon Jenkins is author of the bestselling A Short History of England, A Short History of Europe, Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations, England's Thousand Best Churches and England's Thousand Best Houses. He is a former Editor of the Evening Standard and The Times, and columnist for the Guardian.

From the Inside Flap:

From the great forts of Caernarvon, Harlech and Beaumaris in the north to the Victorian glories of Cardiff in the south, from St David's cathedral in the west to the exquisite hill church of Patrishow in the east, from Plas Newydd on the Menai Straits to the romantic citadel of Carreg Cennan in Pembrokeshire, the buildings of Wales embody the history and personality of the least known part of the British Isles.

Simon Jenkins has travelled every mile of the country, down forgotten lanes and over windy hillsides, to find the best Welsh buildings for his readers.

The book gives full space to the celebrated cathedrals and castles, but also describes remote upland chapels such as Conwy's Llangelynnin or secret chapels such as Salem or dune cells such as Llandanwg, the gentry houses of Tredegar, Dinefwr and Powis and the great Victorian mansions of Cardiff Castle and Penrhyn. He irresistibly conveys his enthusiasm for these remarkable buildings, often gloriously isolated.
This book is not just about architecture. Saints such as David, Illtud and Beuno, warriors such as the Llywelyns and Glyndwr and eccentrics such as the Ladies of the Llangollen throng its pages. So too does Lloyd George, Gladstone and Adelina Patti, the Italian diva who retreated to the Brecon Beacons at the end of the nineteenth century.

In a long and thoughtful introduction Jenkins addresses the question of what is distinctly Welsh about Welsh buildings, how far the country has succeeded in escaping the influence of its eastern neighbour, and the degree to which the Welsh identity is embodied in its buildings.

Cumulatively the book amounts to a cultural history of Wales by one of its most devoted and knowledgeable admirers. Anyone who loves Wales, or who visits it, will want to own this glorious book.

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9780713998931: Wales: Churches, Houses, Castles

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ISBN 10:  0713998938 ISBN 13:  9780713998931
Publisher: Allen Lane, 2008
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