Glimpses of Gwent Books offers a hand picked selection of books that can be ordered and paid for online using the PayPal system. All of these books are shown in the Catalogue section where you can peruse more information on each book by clicking on any of the pictures.
Included in the catalogue are a fascinating selection of my own writings which I would like to describe to you in a bit more detail:
|A Gwent Miscellany - Book 1|
Gwent as a principality once covered most of South East Wales and beyond into what is now England. A few years ago Gwent was used as the name for the old County of Monmouth and it is from this area that Gareth D John has already written three fascinating volumes, each entitled 'Glimpses of Gwent'.
'A Gwent Miscellany' follows much in similar vein in describing people, places, monuments, features, customs and curious happenings that many if not most may well be unaware of.
The style is racy, comments sometimes caustic yet perceptive, and the research meticulous. Readers will surely be enthralled as well as informed, which is as it should be. And rightly so!
|A Gwent Miscellany - Book 2|
A veritable kaleidoscope of stories of great diversity covering not only past events, but also fascinating tales of the present.
Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised for the author has unearthed a range of local history gems in areas that you may have thought had already been completely covered.
This latest volume from Dr John reflects his usual racy and perceptive style based on meticulous research which has produced a book that once started is difficult to put down, yet another very good read!
|Booze and The Bible - A journey down the centuries|
A truly fascinating insight into the sentiments expressed about wine and beer down the centuries and a journey of discovery for tipplers old and new.
The disciples of Christ believed the sacrament of wine/beer was blessed with holy prayer and the author has ransacked ancient and familiar musings of scribes in both the Old and New Testaments to provide a wealth of compelling evidence of the use and abuse of alcoholic beverages, especially the fruit of the vine.
Since time immemorial the vagaries of the fragile human psyche have been exposed by man's insatiable craving
|for alcoholic sustenance and after reading this book, in a glass lightly, or indeed goblet, will take on a whole new meaning. |
Iechyd Da! Cheers and good health!
|Cwmbrân Book 1|
Cwmbrân is set in the verdant 'Valley of the Crow' where in 1949 an area of some 3,160 acres was designated for the construction of a new town. At that time the population barely numbered 12,000 and was based in two small townships and surrounding hamlets.
Cwmbrân Development Corporation was faced with the difficult tasks of constructing a large town on difficult terrain and of grafting socially the new to old communities. This book charts the town from humble beginnings to the vibrant success story it is today.
Read about the lives our forefathers led, of their trials and tribulations, and sample the simple pleasures that abound in past everyday life which contrast sharply with modern lifestyles. Profusely illustrated with photographs of a bygone era and the present day, this is a book that future generations will surely treasure.
|Cwmbrân Book 2|
Cwmbrân is set in the Lower Valley of the Afon Llwyd. Its fortunes changed dramatically following the Second World War when it was designated for a new town in an area of mass unemployment, social deprivation and political bewilderment.
This second volume weaves an historical and previously unrecorded perspective of Cwmbrân and the surrounding area. It takes the reader on a fascinating and mystical journey through the lives of ordinary folk, of accomplished people, both the very backbone and fabric of a successful and burgeoning modern society.
|Profusely illustrated with memorable photographs and images of bygone days and the present, this surely is another volume to delight the layman, folklorist and scholar. So delve into the past, gain an insight into the lives our forefathers led. And enjoy, yes treasure, another cornucopia of the unfolding story of life in the verdant 'Valley of the Crow'.|
|Glimpses of Gwent - Book 1|
One of the most fascinating and informative works published for some time. Gareth D. John's lively series of essays are a pleasure to read and this is the sort of book to be read cover to cover and then re-read randomly picking out a chapter here and there.
As we move forward through the new Millennium we should not lose sight of our past: Glimpses of Gwent, dedicated by the author to lovers of South Wales, will serve as a timely reminder of the people, landscapes and events which have made this border County unique in Wales.
|Glimpses of Gwent - Book 2
This second collection of narratives has proved just as popular and equally informative as the first compilation.
Again, the 'mix' comprises both 'old' and 'new'; certain themes may be familiar, but much of the text describes places that remain outside the mainstream of everyday life.
A series of relevant photographs enhance the subject matter and the listing is neither definitive nor exhaustive - merely another personal selection from Dr John.
|Glimpses of Gwent - Book 3|
Dr John embarks upon yet another journey through the pleasant land of Gwent to complete his trilogy.
The industrially-scarred valleys of Gwent are very much past history with the once bible-black spoil heaps now appearing as richly wooded hills; track-beds of redundant railways have become the haunt of ramblers and cyclists, all of which testify to the tenacious power of Mother Nature to heal and reclaim the ravaged land.
By contrast, Eastern Gwent has remained largely unspoilt over centuries, boasting scenery of outstanding natural beauty, of undulating pastoral and unsurpassed broad-leaf woodlands.
|Poetry and Pleasure|
Following the success of 'Poetry and Porridge' it is indeed heartening that another anthology of the poet Glynfab John's musings should be presented before an appreciative audience.
So sit back and enjoy the song of a true poet, Glynfab, a favourite son of the Sirhowy Valley of Gwent and South Wales. A collection to delight both the layman and the purist awaits you. Treasure these outpourings for they are indeed precious.
|Poetry and Porridge|
A seemingly unusual title for an anthology of poetry, but an apt one nonetheless. For the contemporary poet Glynfab John is indeed a true 'son of the Valleys', as his name implies. He is a man of Gwent in every sense of the word, and proud and fiercely passionate about his native environment and upbringing.
The diversity of his poems is quite remarkable, for poets are seers. Over centuries they have been regarded as 'different', 'visionaries', 'soothsayers' or simply 'wise men'. They possess the uncanny gift of perception where others can but only see.
|Tales of Yesteryear from the South Wales Valleys & Reflections|
Tales of the unexpected? Certainly. But not really. For the stories presented encapsulate a former and virtually forgotten way of valley life in a mining community in the heart of the South Wales coalfield during the early and mid 20th-century.
Written, amongst others, for the BBC Home Service during the early 1950s, Glynfab John brings several only too familiar and archetypal characters to life with effortless ease. The humour and misunderstandings of such bungling folk is infectious and totally believable, for such things really did happen.
|The work is interlaced with several poems by the author reflecting upon a former era in the history of the valleys and includes several previously unseen or lost photographs which are a delight to behold.|
A good read by any standards.
|The Goose and Cuckoo - Feat of Endurance|
A tale from an ancient inn clinging to the mountain high above Upper Llanofer on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, this remarkable hostelry is the sole survivor from the destruction of all the nearby alehouses by the first Lady Llanover.
Step inside and time seems to have stood still, indeed little seems to have changed from when Walter Davies set out long ago on his epic journey to wheel his buxom wife by pram to the Goose and Cuckoo and back from Blaenavon across the mountaintop.