Glyndŵr Book 2 of 4 – Glorious Shall Their Dragon Be #ad
AND IT WAS GLORIOUS – FOR A WHILE –
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GLYNDWR AT HYDDGEN
‘In our eagerness to lead the English away from our headquarters and families, we appear to have walked into a trap, boys. Whichever way we turn, we see the enemy looking up at us. But the Bible teaches everyone has to lift their heads to those above them. These mercenaries deserve our pity. Their destiny is to crouch in the mud ignorant and blind to beauty like toads, while watching us, the hawks, soar overhead.
‘They do not fight for the love of a land, a family, friends and freedom. Driven by greed they crave coin and kill to sate the bloodlust of tyrants who enslave them with silver. They are incapable of feeling the emotion our land evokes and for that we should pity them.
‘We fight for our wives, our children, our people and Hiraeth. The sense of home and belonging Wales endows at birth.
‘I love and respect you too much to lie. We are trapped. But God has given us a choice. We can remain here cowed, waiting for death from starvation or an English arrow. Or, we can face our fate like men of Cymru.
‘Blade in hand we can charge down this hill and attack those who would steal our lives and birth right, giving them a taste of Welsh justice delivered by Welsh courage.
‘I do not command, but beg. Sell your lives dearly, and if God delivers our death this day, let us meet it like Welshmen. Sword in hand, stout in heart ready to deliver to the enemy what he would deliver to us if we allowed him. No quarter.’
Glyndŵr – The Foretold Son #ad
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GLYNDWR – THE FORETOLD SON – the idea for the book originated during a meeting with the CEO of Tanabi Films, Euros Jones Evans and the VP Samira Mohamed Ali . They asked how I felt about writing a novelised history of Owain Glyndwr, with a view to scripting the book and turning it into a television series. I’d worked with Euros and Samira when they brought my script of my crime novel By Any Name, starring Cengiz Dervis and Samira Mohammed Ali to the screen of Amazon Prime. Working with live people had been a luxury for a novelist, as I’d always worked alone (apart from the characters in my head). It was overwhelming and humbling to see the hard work the actors and crew put into bringing my characters to life, but initially I was less than enthusiastic about the Glyndwr project. Some twenty years ago an editor had suggested I write about him. I did some perfunctory research and decided I had reservations about a man who’d abandoned his wife, daughters and granddaughters in Harlech Castle to be captured by the English and incarcerated in the Tower of London.
Jacket of Glyndŵr – The Foretold Son designed by firstname.lastname@example.org. Photograph of Julian Lewis Jones as Glyndwr, Nathan Davies, copyright Tanabi Films
Three years ago, I began researching again and started by reading as many translations of the original medieval documents that mentioned Owain Glyndwr or Oyen Glendourdy (or any of his other misspelt names) that I could lay my hands on, along with those that mentioned his contemporaries. Llewellyn ap Gruffydd Fychan, was hung drawn and quartered in public in Llandovery by Henry IV for supporting Glyndwr. Hotspur, Owain’s fellow soldier, friend and ultimately ally, and of course, King Henry IV, Owain’s arch enemy whose claim to the English throne was weaker than that of Glyndwr’s own grandson. The most moving document I read was Owain Glyndwr’s “Pennal Letter” originally written in Latin, which revealed so much about his character, proving that he was centuries before his time in both statesmanship and compassion. I discovered no contemporary records had survived of the siege of Harlech, and soon felt that Owain Glyndwr had been in desperate need of a publicist to counter the rumours the English crown had spread about him.
A devoted husband, father, family man, highly educated linguist, fluent in English, Welsh, French, Latin and Greek, he was in turn, soldier and warrior, a lawyer who practised in London’s Inns of court, politician, country squire, charismatic leader of men, and courtier but above all a Welsh noble of Welsh royal lineage (and like all Welsh nobles, despised by the English nobility of Norman extraction). Three years spent reading and visiting his haunts in Wales, convinced me he’s the greatest Welsh patriot, military tactician, politician and philosopher who lived. He could have settled into comfortable old age in his homes surrounded by his wife, children, friends and bards, instead he sacrificed everything he valued, his family, wealth, life and the lives of his sons and friends for the cause for Welsh freedom. His thinking was centuries ahead of his time. Six hundred years ago he dreamed of a Welsh Parliament elected from, and by the free Welsh, two Welsh universities one in the North and one the South staffed by the brightest and most learned Welsh, and a Welsh church free from the corruption of Canterbury. Everything he hoped for came to pass but not until centuries after his disappearance.
On February 28th 1405 Owain Glyndwr signed a treaty with his son-in-law Edmund Mortimer, and Henry Percy, the Earl of Northumberland, at the home of the Archdeacon of Bangor. They divided Wales and England into three parts. Percy would rule from the Scottish borders through the Midlands to East Anglia, Mortimer would rule the South of England and Owain Glyndwr the whole of Wales, and all the land from the Severn Estuary to the northern gate of the city of Worcester, the whole of Cheshire and parts of Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire. If they had succeeded in removing Henry IV from the throne of England, the map of Britain would have looked very different. If I had to sum up Owain Glyndwr, man and leader in one sentence, I would say, “Despite the enormous rewards the English crown offered for his capture and head alive or dead, he was never betrayed” which says everything you need to know about the man behind the name Glyndwr.
WHAT DID OWAIN GLYNDWR LOOK LIKE?
The only reference we have are the images on his seal and the descriptions of his contemporaries.
An S4C documentary attempted to shed light by creating these images based on the depiction on his seal, unfortunately they placed the blemish below his left eye, not above, as attributed by contemporaries.
Glyndŵr – The Foretold Son
‘It seems God and fate has arranged everything.’ Owain left his soothsayer, walked to the window, and looked out towards the river that gleamed pewter in the moonlight. ‘It’s not easy being a father.’
‘So, they tell me, my lord,’ she answered. ‘But that is something I will never discover.’ Owain turned back to her. ‘Hard as it is to be a father it’s even harder to be a foretold son.’ ‘None of us can escape our destiny, my lord. Least of all the greatest among us.’ ‘Can you see how it will end?’ ‘It will end the way of all prophesies, my lord.’ She smiled as she met Owain’s steady gaze. ‘With the birth of a legend.’
REVIEWS OF GLYNDWR FROM AMAZON
29 September 2019 Format: Kindle Edition
8 May 2019 Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The compelling story of the man who became the legendary Owain Glyndŵr the Prince of Wales and leader of the last Welsh rebellion. This meticulously researched historical novel of the life of the man behind the legend that is Glyndŵr. The late medieval setting is expertly brought to life and the tale is told through fantastically realised characters; kings, princes, knights, nobles, priests and peasants. A must-read for all fans of historical fiction.
Catrin Collier’s writing is always exciting, descriptive and emotive. Obviously an experienced and longstanding author, she knows how to keep the pages turning and continues to do it so well here. Her research, though detailed, is integrated seamlessly into the story. And what a story it is. Characters are alive and kicking hard. The story is coloured with their hopes and fears in a heartfelt way. No emotion is hidden or avoided, characters tackle everything head on. It is a fabulous book and one to be treasured not merely for its history but also for its depth and entertainment value. She really is is a master storyteller.
8 July 2019
17 July 2019
10 August 2019