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About Us

Welcome/Croeso

Welcome to WALES BOOKS, an organisation established in 2000 with the aim of publicising Wales and its achievements

Croeso i WALES BOOKS, rydym yn gwmni a chafodd ei sefydlu i ddangos a gwerthu llwyddianau Cymru.

Extract from a 2004 email to the author from Dr. Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, regarding ‘The Book of Welsh Saints’ ‘…the book is a really extraordinary achievement: a compilation of tradition, topography and literary detective work that can have few rivals (you can quote me if you like!) I have enjoyed browsing in it enormously, and have picked up all sorts of new lines to follow up…’

 

I have worked in over 20 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iran during the Revolution and across most of Europe. Away from my publishing, I have given conference papers upon transnational tax avoidance and national sovereignty in Thessaloniki, Charleston, Seattle and Paris etc. In 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 I was awarded the Books Council of Wales 'Book of the Month Award' for '100 Great Welshmen', 'The Welsh Almanac, 'The Book of Welsh Pirates and Buccaneers', ‘Admiral Sir Henry Morgan’ and ‘The Pirate Handbook’ respectively, the only writer to have achieved five such awards. My books have been translated into Turkish, Russian, Polish, Dutch, German, Chinese (formal and simplified) and Japanese. I have spoken at the North American Festival of Wales at Vancouver and Washington and given the Bemis Lecture at Lincoln, Massachusetts.

   For some years I edited and published wonderful non-fiction books on Wales by new authors who could not get a publisher. Unfortunately, we now rarely publish, as book readership of non-fiction has dropped off a cliff and small publisher books are hardly promoted in the declining Welsh press. The so-called ‘national newspaper of Wales’, The Western Mail, had a circulation of 37,576 in 2005, at which time my books could achieve a reasonable article of between half and two pages, along with similar free promotion in other Welsh media. In 1995, the five leading Welsh papers: the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, South Wales Argus, South Wales Evening Post and Daily Post (North Wales); had a combined circulation of 198,000. The latest circulation figures are 31,000, just 16% of that 1995 total, in just 17 years. All Welsh papers have shrunk drastically in size.

   My latest book, ‘The Greatest Sporting Family in History: The Blue and Black Brothers’, about the eight Williams brothers who played rugby for Cardiff when it was acknowledged as ‘the greatest’ rugby club in the world, was ignored by all the Welsh media despite an extensive mailout and emails. Letters and emails were sent to 200 bookshops and 200 libraries. 606 pages, it has sold a pathetic 55 copies since its launch in 2021. Over 50 have been given away to the media, rugby clubs and those who aided my research. All of my earlier books sold out within a few months, but a 2017 revised edition of my 100 Greatest Welshmen and 100 Greatest Welsh Women books of 2001 and 2006 also hardly sold.

   However, I (Terry Breverton) am still writing books for other publishers, always introducing Welsh angles, and those publications are updated here. We would urge you to support independent bookshops, who will order any book for you, or to buy Welsh-interest books from the Books Council of Wales at www.gwales.com. All of our Glyndŵr books except the last three were printed in Treforest or Llandybie in Wales and were sold to try and break even. Since 2008 Amberley (formerly the History Press and Tempus) has commissioned 12 books on Wales, including the first biographies of Owen and Jasper Tudor. Quercus has taken 7 non-fiction books, and I have been told that my ‘Breverton’s Nautical Curiosities’ is still being sold on cruise ships in the Caribbean. More recently Cambria Publishing of Llandeilo has published my new and unexpurgated translation of the Physicians of Myddfai – Cures and Remedies of the Medieval World, and a rewritten edition of the Journal of Penrose, Seaman – the New Robinson Crusoe. Gwasg Carreg Gwalch took my Confessions of William Owen, Smuggler, Privateer and Murderer and a shortened version of my book on Welsh pirates and privateers.

​   Some of us have also spent a great deal of time trying to get the wonderful Owain Glyndŵr properly recognised across Wales. Politicians are afraid of cultural nationalism. Funding seems to be available for all minority interests except those of the Welsh people. With two others, I organised CICFEST in Cardiff Bay a few years back, an attempt to bring the equivalent of L’Orient’s massive Inter-Celtique Festival to Wales, but it made losses owing to political antipathy. Politicians are very afraid of our own original British, i.e. Welsh, cultural nationalism, yet find it easy to celebrate and fund multicultural affairs. Our nationalism is worlds apart from antipathy and aggression. Indeed, perhaps Wales is the only country in the world, which for the last two millennia, has never declared war on another country. ​

   On our first web page, in 2000, we could read: ‘Our independence can hopefully act as a focus for those in Wales who believe that the country is ill-served by a London government and politicians of all parties.’ Unfortunately, since that time we have seen a Welsh Labour Government, supported in power by Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats, which has overseen the nation falling further and further behind the rest of the United Kingdom in all socio-economic indicators. This tiny land now expends as much of its budget upon climate change as education. Utter pointless madness. In other nations there would be an uproar. In England there has been no onshore windfarm construction since 2015, but new Welsh legislation will see even more massive new areas of the land covered with the tallest wind generators (they are not turbines) in the world. Tiny Wales is responsible for under 0.02% of global CO2 emissions, incidentally.

   More of our land, as a percentage, will be covered with wind ‘farms’ than anywhere else on the planet, killing millions of insects, bats, birds, destroying peat bogs, disrupting water courses, causing flooding and killing all inland tourism. 3.8 million trees were cut down for just 4 windfarms around Brechfa and Llanybydder, but it is impossible to find accurate statistics upon dozens of other sites. Perhaps 15 million trees? The cost-benefit analysis for wind sites is carried out by the subsidised foreign developers and operators, not the Senedd or an independent body. In a similar vein, I know that in my 77 years that sand has been vanishing from beaches from Penarth to the Gower because of dredging in the Severn Sea/Bristol Channel. All surveys show that dredging has no effect. They are carried out by British Dredging scientists.

   Years ago, R.S. Thomas sadly realised that we are ‘an impotent people’, ‘gnawing the bones of a dead culture’. It is increasingly difficult to disagree, with the Welsh Government’s unopposed ‘strategic plan’ for huge vanity projects to reach the unattainable ‘net zero’, instead of looking after its people, history, culture and environment. ‘Cofiwch Drywerin’ is the remembrance of the drowned village of Capel Celyn under the Trywerin reservoir, built for the Afon Trywerin to supply Liverpool with water. That memory will be as nothing in a couple of decades, when the Welsh people will gaze at thousands of huge disused wind towers on massive concrete blocks, all across the land. Rotting crucifixes, signifying the death of a nation. We need anger to protect what little is left of rural Cymru, not a blind passive acceptance.

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