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OWAIN GLYNDŴR – THE STORY OF THE LAST PRINCE OF WALES

Amberley

192pp

HB

2009

vale_glamorgan.jpg

OWAIN GLYNDŴR – THE STORY OF THE LAST PRINCE OF WALES

192pp hardback illustrated July 2009 Amberley Publishing

224pp paperback illustrated 2013

Gwales description 2010

‘If it had not been for Owain Glyndŵr’s struggle against overwhelming odds, the Welsh would not have survived as Europe’s oldest nation. His war is the defining era in the history of Wales. Yet Glyndŵr is hardly known – a cultured, literate warrior who was never betrayed or captured and vanished into history. No less than six separate invasions were beaten back by Glyndŵr’s army of volunteers before he disappeared into history, his family and children either dead or imprisoned for life, but he was never betrayed. Not for Glyndŵr the brutal public death of Braveheart, nor a grave to desecrate - only an immortal legacy of hope and freedom. His war of independence led the way for the success of another mab darogan (son of prophecy) seven decades later, when a Welsh army won at Bosworth Field and the Tudor Dynasty was founded. This book tells us how Glyndŵr came to stir Wales into war, and why his name still resonates today as one of the greatest warriors the world has seen. The first ever full-scale biography of the last native Prince of Wales who fought to maintain an independent Wales. If it had not been for Owain Glyndŵr's 15-year struggle against overwhelming odds, the Welsh would not have survived as Europe's oldest nation. His war is the defining era in the history of Wales.

The Author: Terry Breverton is the author of fifteen books of Welsh interest, five of which have been awarded ‘Welsh Book of the Month’ by the Welsh Books Council (more than any other author)’

Gwales Review with the permission of the Welsh Books Council 2010

‘Amberley is the latest local history and heritage publishing venture of the Cotswolds entrepreneur Alan Sutton and the equally productive and market-driven Terry Breverton has found it a perfect stable for his latest patriotic Welsh heritage hopeful. The books are handsomely produced, with good paper and clear font and come with maps and full-colour plates - all for a reasonable price. They do not pretend to be academic which is the only necessary caveat. Terry Breverton has amassed an enormous amount of material on Owain Glyn Dŵr - he prefers the now rather old-fashioned spelling of Glyndŵr… his primary sources… range from George Borrow’s ‘translation’ of the famous elegy composed by Iolo Goch for Sycharth via chunks of Shakespeare and published versions of mediaeval chronicles.
  Whereas academic historians have agonised over whether to describe the Glyn Dŵr events as a ‘revolt’ or a ‘rising’, Breverton denies that they were either, insisting rather that we are dealing with ‘a full-scale war’. There is even a hint of an establishment cover-up: ‘even today the nationalism aroused by Glyndŵr strikes fear into the heart of every mainstream politician whether Plaid Cymru, Conservative, Liberal-Democrat or Labour.’ And there you have it. For the academic historian, the past is another country; for the propagators of patriotic heritage, the emotions of a Six Nations match at the Millennium Stadium can be happily played back through six centuries. It has generally been held that Abbey Cwm-hir was laid waste by Glyn Dŵr’s forces, for example, but Breverton suggests otherwise: the Cistercians were on the side of the Welsh and in any case the grave of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd would have been an obvious target for the English forces...
  … we are treated to a most engaging romp through a colourful past and there is a large amount of what might be termed Glyn Dŵr lore embedded in the text – a detailed topography of the Battle of Hyddgen, for example – that will provide ample material for heritage rambles. Many of the sites photographed come replete with Owain Glyn Dŵr banner-waving extras and other such accoutrements. The mayor of Machynlleth Tecwyn Jones is seen holding the fantastical Cleddyf y Genedl and the Parliament House in Maengwyn Street in the same town is given as the location of Owain Glyn Dŵr’s Senedd in the text without comment although the building clearly post-dates the events described. Yet the book’s infectious ‘hwyl’ demonstrates an important truth. Owain Glyn Dŵr was never captured or betrayed and even Terry Breverton hasn’t located his hero’s final resting place. The Welsh Chronicle, under the year 1415, records the following entry: ‘Owain disappeared on the feast day of Matthew in the autumn. No one knows after that where he hid. Many say that he died, but the prophets say that he did not die.’ Owain thus took his place in the venerable tradition of the ‘Mab Darogan’, no longer a historical figure but a folk hero and, as such, by no means the special preserve of academic historians.’ David Barnes

Cambrian News 2 January 2014 Book tells story of Welsh hero Owain Glyndŵr

‘A NEW book about Wales’ greatest hero, Owain Glyndŵr’, has been published by a recognised expert on Welsh culture and history. The book Owain Glyndŵr: The Story of the Last Prince of Wales, by Terry Breverton, is the first full-scale biography of the last native Prince of Wales, who fought to maintain an independent Wales. The Amberley Publishing book contains a two-page section on ‘The first parliament - Machynlleth & crowning of Owain lV, 21 June 1404’. It reads: “Many sources believe that the first parliament was at Machynlleth in 1402, upon 2 September. However, Harlech and Aberystwyth, on either side of Machynlleth, were still in English possession, making it too dangerous. It must have been in 1404, probably after the fall of Harlech, and with Aberystwyth safely besieged, and was on 21 June.” And one of the 32 colour illustrations shows the presentation of Glyndŵr’s Cleddyf y Genedl (Sword of the Nation) to Machynlleth mayor Tecwyn Evans in June 2004, commemorating the 600th anniversary of the first Welsh parliament at Machynlleth… Click here for the full story, or see this week's Meirionnydd edition of the Cambrian News…

Don't forget Owain Glyndŵr 's 'war of independence', says Welsh author of new biography.

Terry Breverton aims to change perceptions of the fabled Welsh military leader who won plaudits from Castro and Shakespeare.

Welsh freedom fighter Owain Glyndŵr was referred to by Cuban leader Fidel Castro as “the World’s first guerilla leader” and playwright William Shakespeare recalled him as being “not in the roll of common men”. But Cowbridge-based lecturer and author Terry Breverton believes Glyndŵr (1359-c.1415) has largely been neglected and that his fierce “hit and run” military campaign against English rule has been derided as an insurrection, revolt or uprising. It was, Breverton asserts in his new 240-page biography Owain Glyndŵr, The Story of the Last Prince of Wales, a “full scale war of independence” which united the Welsh nation for the first time.
  He points out that Glyndŵr’s army of volunteers beat back no less than six separate invasions before he mysteriously disappeared, his children and family either dead or imprisoned for life.
Breverton says: “If it had not been for Owain Glyndŵr’s 15-year struggle against overwhelming odds, the Welsh would not have survived as Europe’s oldest nation. His war is the defining era in the history of Wales. “Yet Glyndŵr is hardly known, a cultured, literate warrior who was never betrayed or captured and vanished into history.”
  It was on September 16, 1400 that Glyndŵr instigated his campaign against the rule of Henry IV of England. It was initially very successful and rapidly gained control of large areas of Wales, but it suffered from key weaknesses – particularly a lack of artillery, which made capturing defended fortresses difficult and of ships which rendered their coasts vulnerable.”
  Glyndŵr was finally driven from his last strongholds in 1409, but he avoided capture and the last documented sighting of him was in 1412. He twice ignored offers of a pardon from the new king Henry V of England and despite the large rewards offered, Glyndŵr was never betrayed to the English.
He is thought to have died in 1415.
  Breverton said: “Even today, English historians and critics declaim that Wales was ‘never a nation’, which betrays not just intellectual ignorance but the arrogance of indifference. Wales had been a collection of princedoms since recorded history began and had survived for more than 200 years after the Normans conquered England. But under Glyndŵr, unpaid Welsh volunteers fought off no less than six large scale royal invasions of paid soldiers and foreign mercenaries. However even today the nationalism aroused by the word Glyndŵr strikes fear into the heart of every mainstream politician, whether Plaid, Conservative Lib Dem or Labour.”
  Glyndŵr was born in 1359 into a powerful family of the Anglo-Welsh nobility. After the final battles of his campaign in 1412, little was known of Glyndŵr, flashes of sporadic violence continuing against the English but by bands of independent armed men rather than any organised military force. Tradition has it that he died and was buried possibly in the church of Saints Mael and Sulien at Corwen close to his home, or possibly on his estate in Sycharth or on the estates of his daughters’ husbands – Kentchurch in South Herefordshire or Monnington in West Herefordshire.
Breverton however, quotes Owen Rhoscomyl who wrote Flamebearers of Welsh History in 1905 who believed Glyndŵr’s spirit lives on. Roshcomyl said of Glyndŵr’s unknown grave: “Time shall not touch it, decay shall not dishonour it for that grave is in the heart of every true Cymro. There for ever, from generation to generation, grey Owen’s heart lies dreaming on, dreaming on, safe for ever and forever.”

GOODREADS [US WEBSITE] ANNETTE’S REVIEWS 15 March 2013

Author Terry Breverton begins with English and Welsh history from 1066 to 1378. Then he zeroes in on the historical character of Owain Glyndŵr. Glyndŵr the warrior prince who raised up an army against the brute injustice of England. Glyndŵr who fought for continuance of an independent nation of Wales. Glyndŵr who became a legend for the people of Wales and a mighty hero of valour. Owain Glyndŵr’s birth has been given in three dates: 1349, 1354 and 1355. “The most accredited date is 28 May 1354”. Three major bloodlines were in him. He studied at Oxford or Cambridge, probably studying law. He married, and had six sons, seven daughters. When Glyndŵr went to war against England, Henry IV had taken the throne. The year was 1400. The war would last 15 years.

Terry Breverton through documented research, plus a strong dedication for the truth of Welsh history, has written a remarkable historical book. This is the second book on Welsh history I’ve read by Terry Breverton, I’m just amazed at his dedication to study and research in his topics. I’m even more amazed at his candour in wanting accurate information given about Welsh history. The primary theme is Welsh history, yet several other historical figures are written about: Richard II, House of Plantagenet, John of Gaunt, Edmund Mortimer, Earl of Warwick, Henry IV, Tudor family. The descriptions of the actual battles are given; but also France’s role in the war; political intrigues in England; the suffering of the Welsh people during the war; Glyndŵr’s stark determination and military prowess; and the influence he’s had through the generations. I felt the book was well-written, organized and arranged well, and very interesting. There are 32 colour photographs of Wales which includes the various locations of interest from the book.

CAMBRIA MAGAZINE REVIEW - SUMMER 2002

‘I don't think we can ever have enough books about the Great Liberation War and our greatest hero. When every schoolchild knows the story backwards, the dates of the battles, and the main events and personalities, then, perhaps, I would suggest that it was time to move on to Llywelyn Fawr or Gruffudd ap Cynan or the story of Rebecca, but the Great War is a very good starting-point for gaining a necessary appreciation of our history.

This book will be a welcome adjunct to the study of the great Owain, set out as it is in chronological detail with boxes, footnotes and maps complementary to the text. Mr Brough sets out to do what many historians fail to do, and that is to place the struggle of 1400-1416 within the context of the broader panoply of Welsh history, rather than seeing it as a sort of sideshow of the English imperial pageant or, worse still, as some have attempted to do, a mere element of the feuding squabbles between Anglo-Norman barons.

The Great Liberation War is THE defining Glyndŵr moment of our nation's history. Had it not been for Owain Glyndŵr and the men and women who stood at his side against over-whelming odds, there would be no Welsh nation today. You will find all the details here.’

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