Tag Archives: wales

Welsh Wednesdays | Welsh Books

A discussion on Welsh books, or books related to Wales.

Today, for Welsh Wednesdays, Llinos and I will be sharing about Welsh books. It’s obvious that I am obsessed with both Wales and books, so it only makes sense that I would have a shelf solely dedicated to Welsh history and culture.

A discussion on Welsh books, or books related to Wales.

I have many history books…I have about two and a half shelves full of them. Most of them have to do with medieval times, especially medieval Britain. That was, after all, my emphasis in my history major. So, of course, that also includes Wales, and is also part of the reason I decided to study Welsh.

Welsh books

As you can see, I have a Welsh dragon, or Draig Cymraeg. I also have my Welsh grammar books and dictionaries to help me practice my Welsh. La Morte D’Arthur is included in that because I’m in the school that yes, Arthur was a real historical figure, and yes, he was in fact, Welsh.  Then, stacked, are all my history books: one specifically is a short history on Wales, itself. But, the rest all have to do with Wales as part of Great Britain.

I also have a Welsh Book of Mormon:

Welsh books

The Book of Mormon is the scriptures that sets Mormons apart from other Christians. We believe it is another testament of Christ. It has been translated into numerous languages across the globe, including Welsh. However, the translation was done in the mid-1800s, and trying to read its style of Welsh is like an ESL learner trying to read Shakespeare! It’s an older, more formal format and is grammatically pretty difficult. But, it’s great to learn the spiritual and religious Welsh vocabulary.

I also have a few Welsh books that I will give Rhys when he is older.

Welsh books

The first is actually a Welsh book for Welsh boy scouts! I can’t wait to use it when Rhys is in Scouts! The second is a picture book about Welsh princes, one of which is Rhys’s namesake!

And, of course, I’ve done book reviews on both The Castle of Llyr and Born to Treason, novels that take place in Wales and have to do with Welsh history or legends.

What Welsh books or books about Wales have you read?

Join Llinos from the Lilac Linnet and Tayler from The Morrell Tale on the last Wednesday of every month for Welsh Wednesdays!

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Welsh Wednesday | Castles of Wales

One of the most significant and well-known things about Wales is its castles. When I studied abroad in Wales, I visited many, many castles throughout Wales, England, and Scotland. It was some of my favorite memories about my study abroad. I loved exploring the ruins, imagining the history within the walls.

Today, Llinos and I will be sharing about our favorite castles in Wales.

Caerphilly and Conwy Castles, and Usk are some of the coolest Welsh castles.

Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle is one of the largest castles in Wales. Is is located in South Wales, and was built in the 13th century as a defense against the Welsh “rebels”. It has a large moat around it. Throughout it’s history, there are many battles that have taken place around it, as well as in it. The most well known is during the English Civil War in 1642. Cannons were shot at the towers, so many of Caerphilly’s towers are broken and leaning. Around the castle today, there are recreations of different medieval weapons and a recreated Great Room.

438 Caerphilly Castle 431 Caerphilly Castle 430 Caerphilly Castle 423 Caerphilly Castle 422 Caerphilly Castle 416 Caerphilly Castle 415 Caerphilly Castle 414 Caerphilly Castle 411 Caerphilly Castle

Conwy Castle

Conwy is a city in north Wales. Edward I built it in the mid-13th century as he defeated Wales. He fortified it by building a large wall around the city. Today, the remains of this wall are very apparent throughout the city. The city kind of was built out of and around the wall, lining backyards and houses. This was also one of the strongholds used by Owain Glyndwr (basically the Welsh version of Braveheart) during his 14 year rebellion. It is large, has beautiful towers for lookouts and archers, many historic tales of intrigue, rebellion, and betrayal within the walls. And, it is built right on the sea, giving you an amazing view of both the sea and the city itself.

749 Conwy 747 Conwy 745 Conwy 743 Conwy 740 Conwy 739 Conwy 738 Conwy 735 Conwy

Usk Castle

Usk is one of my absolute favorites. Usk Castle isn’t owned by the government, so it isn’t really kept updated. It was allowed to fall into ruins and have nature reclaim it. It is privately owned, and to view it, you literally go into their backyard. Today, it has a very Secret Garden feel and look to it. Usk is located in the South East of Wales, near the border of England. It was one of the first Norman castles built in Wales, and became a Marcher Lord stronghold–Marcher Lords were basically nobles put in charge of different strategic points on the border of Wales to keep an eye on the Welsh. One of my favorite battles of Owain Glyndwr happened near this castle: the Battle of Pwll Melyn.

151 Usk Castle 148 Usk Castle 146 Usk Castle 144 Usk Castle 140 Usk Castle 139 Usk Castle

Which one of these castles is your favorite?

1 – un (een)
2 – dai (die)
3 – tri (tree)
4 – pedwar (ped-wahr)
5 – pump (pimp)
6 – chwech (**gutteral** kquake)
7 – saith (scythe)
8 – wyth (oith)
9 – naw (now)
10 – deg (dayg)

January – Ionawr (yawn-hour)
February – Chwefror (**gutteral** kway-fror)
March – Mawrth (maurth)
April – Ebrill (ey-brelth)
May – Mai (my)
June – Mehefin (me-hev-in)
July – Gorffenaf (gorf-in-av)
August – Awst (aust)
September – Medi (med-ee)
October – Hydref (huh-drev)
November – Tachwedd (tahk-weth)
December – Rhagfyr (rahg-veer)

Monday – Dydd Llun (deeth lthleen)
Tuesday – Dydd Mawrth (deeth maurth)
Wednesday – Dydd Mercher (deeth merk**gutteral**ker)
Thursday – Dydd Iau (deeth eeyai)
Friday – Dydd Gwener (deeth gwen-er)
Saturday – Dydd Sadwrn (deeth sad-urn)
Sunday – Dydd Sul (deeth seel)

welshwednesdaybutton-1Tayler signature

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Welsh Wednesday // Cymru Am Byth

Croeso! Welcome!

A few months ago, I got a random email from someone named Llinos from The Lilac Linnet. I immediately knew that was a Welsh name. She said she was glad to have found my blog and was excited that I knew Welsh and had traveled to Wales. I immediately followed her back. Since then, we’ve talked about Wales, sometimes in Welsh. Llinos always ignites my wish to go back to Wales in a bad way! So, we decided that we needed to share with the world the amazing-ness that is Wales. Therefore, we’ve created Welsh Wednesdays!

Welsh Wednesdays--all about Wales!

The last Wednesday of every month, Llinos and I will both create a post based on a specific topic on Wales. This week, we’ve decided to talk about what we love about Wales and why we are doing this linkup.

Make sure you check out Llinos’s post!

First of all, I want to make sure you know where Wales actually is:

Via

I have always been obsessed with English history–Celt and Romans, Dark Age and King Arthur, Medieval Age and knights and wars, and the Tudors. I have also been obsessed with fantasy, and the history just molds so nicely together. In high school, I started researching more about the Celts and their culture and mythology and decided I wanted to learn a Celtic language (Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, or Welsh–it didn’t matter).

When I got to BYU, I found that the only Celtic language they offered was Welsh. So I began taking the courses my sophomore year. I also found out about the same time that I was part Welsh–not as much as my Danish and Swedish ancestry, but my Scandinavian blood never really called out to me; whereas, my Celtic ancestry pumps through my veins loudly. I mean, I would always listen to Celtic music, loved British history, and was obsessed with Celts and fantasy!
I loved learning the language and how it rolled off the tongue. I also loved the history of Wales–it is very similar to Scotland–full of rebels! I then had the opportunity to go to Wales for a study abroad in 2010. I felt so at home in Wales–like I was connected to the land, to the history, to the culture. It was quite a spiritual experience for me to be honest. I have been yearning to return ever since then, but sadly, finances disagree.

Here are some other posts I’ve written about Wales!

Cymru Am Byth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Project Read Your Classroom Shelves #4

Project Read Your Classroom Shelves #4: Castle of Llyr, Rules of the Road

I have been reading so many other books this past month, that I haven’t made a big dent in my YA novels. So, I only have two reviews for today’s Project Read Your Classroom Shelves!

Project Read Your Classroom Shelves #4: Castle of Llyr, Rules of the Road

The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander

Via

I had originally bought this book at a library $1 sale and immediately grabbed it when I saw two obvious Welsh words: “Lloyd” and “Llyr.” I thought it’d be cool to have a Welsh magic and knights story. Well, it turns out that this is the third installment in the Chronicles of Prydain, the most famous of which is the second: The Black Cauldron. After realizing that, names and events fell into place as Disney made a version of The Black Cauldron.

This book is the developing/discovering of the love between Assistant Pig-Keeper turned knight Taran and the tom boyish princess with magical properties Eilonwy. Eilonwy is sent to Dinas Rhydant to learn how to become a Lady and to be betrothed to the clumsy Prince Rhun. But, Magg, the steward of the castle captures Eilonwy and takes her to the evil witch, Achren. So, Taran, Kaw, Gurgi, Flewddur, and Gwydion embark on a quest to rescue her as Taran realized his deeper feelings towards Eilonwy.

It was a fun read, but some characters’ relationships as well as allured events were a bit confusing because it is the third installment in the series. But I had so much fun pronouncing the Welsh names and places correctly and learning more about the epic tale of Welsh lore.

Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer

Teenage Jenny just got her license. She works in a shoe store and knows everything about shoes. Her dad is an alcoholic and has left her family (which includes her mom and younger sister). Jenny gets an opportunity of a lifetime during summer break to be the driver of Gladstone Shoe’s owner (this is a national chain!) to take her from Chicago to Texas for a future-deciding stock holder’s meeting.
This book has an interesting premise: comparing the rules of the road to the rules of life. However, I think the author tries to do too much in addition to being almost existential in life rules: 1) teenage girl saves cooperate business, 2) driving rules and experiences, 3) dealing with a drunk father, 4) teenage girl taking care of family, 5) ins and outs of the shoe business. It was just too busy.
But, the characters are likeable and fleshed out, except for the antagonist. He seemed pretty ambiguous and two-dimensional to me. But, I really did like the resolution…not with the main cooperate saving plot, but with dealing with her denying alcoholic father. That was great.
Which of these books seem interesting to you?

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Rhys is the Long Lost True King of the Britons (Celts)

If you don’t already know it, I’m really, really obsessed with medieval history, especially Welsh history and Arthurian lore. How I studied the lineages, how I studied the migrations, how I studied the prophecies of the true King of the Brits (clue: it’s not the English monarchy, nor has ever been, but that’s a different history lecture).

I’m part Welsh, but I also have Scottish lineage. Justin has Irish and Scottish. But, this blood isn’t really all that prevalent in either of our bodies. Our Celtic blood is about 5% or so of our makeup. But, Rhys (which is a Welsh name!!) would have blood of the Celts (as well as the invading Danes and vikings from me and the even worse invading Normans from Justin–hence the French-English last name “Morrell”, which means “moor” or “darkskinned”–we are still confused on that–did Justin have a really tan ancestor during William I’s reign?)

Well, as Mormons, we are also huge into family history. The LDS Church hosts familysearch.com (as well as ancestry.com). During the Sunday School hour, sometimes we like to go t the family history center and do family history. One day, we got to looking to see how far back our family trees go…mine only a few hundred years. But, Justin found a branch that kept going, and going, and going, and going….

Until he saw these names, which sounded familiar, and Welsh to him, so he showed me. And, I freaked out in joy!!!


Justin’s lineage comes through Mordred, the son of King Arthur that led to the downfall of Camelot and Arthur’s death! Now, before you say Arthur doesn’t exist, remember, I’m a historian…a medieval/Dark Ages historian. There is plenty of proof that “an” Arthur existed in Wales. He was a Welsh king/general that fought off the Saxons, that united the Britons after the Romans left, etc., etc. Now, whether or not he had the strength of a bear, had a wizard full of magic as an adviser, had a magical sword, and all that other mythical stuff is to be taken with a grain of salt. But, the fact remains, these are still remnants of historical figures. 
I was so thrilled to know that although I may not be a descendant of Arthur and my Celtic blood runs stronger through my body than Justin’s does and rules me more, my son, my baby boy, my first born, Rhys (and the rest of my posterity) would be related to King Arthur! I couldn’t ask for anything more for my children!
I clicked on Uther’s (Arthur’s father) lineage to look farther, and I started seeing Welsh legendary kings that I researched in Welsh prophetic poetry for my bachelor’s capstone paper!
We decided to explore this Celtic genealogy of Justin’s a bit more. We found a lot of Irish dark age royalty, Saxon/Danish royalty,  Scottish royalty (including King Duncan from Macbeth–and again, those were real people as it is a history that Shakespeare embellished), and more Welsh people, including nobles. Under his belt, Justin was the descendant of Welsh Kings, the King of Anglesey, the King of the Isle of Man, Scottish Kings, and Irish Kings, as well as even being related to Norman-English nobility (which makes sense since the first ancestors he has with the last name of Morrell appear in England around 1066).

So, all the stories I was going to raise Rhys with of Welsh heroes and princes, Arthur’s court, and other medieval and dark age figures have an even stronger meaning now, since Rhys is their descendant. And, based on all the prophetic poetry of the Welsh (and Merlin and dark age/medieval historians), one of ancient Celtic royalty will one day rise up with the Britons need him the most and reunite them under his crown….
Who knows? That could be my baby boy’s destiny *wink wink* #ifonly #butreally #iknewtherewasareasonimarriedmyhusband

 photo 650x150 banner_zps9abdnf3g.png

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.