Glyndŵr – The Foretold Son
The book jacket of Glyndŵr – The Foretold Son and the photographs on this page are the work of the talented cinematographer and film maker Georgios Dimitropoulos who produced the award winning documentaries Gŵyr and Gŵyr 11 -Vision in times. The photographs were taken as mood pieces and research prior to Tanabi’s filming.
GLYNDWR – THE FORETOLD SON began life 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 was a luxury for a novelist who’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 didn’t like the 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.
This time I began 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. Some like the “Pennal Letter” written by the man himself in Latin. I discovered no contemporary records had survived of the siege of Harlech, and Owain Glyndwr was in desperate need of a publicist to counter the rumours the English crown spread about him. A devoted husband, father, family man, and highly educated, linguist, 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 nobility of Norman extraction). After two years of reading and visiting his haunts in Wales, I believe he’s the greatest Welsh patriot, military tactician, politician and philosopher who ever 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 and life in 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.
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 the South 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.
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
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