Tuesday 6 October 2009
Now for the books . . .
Of course, it is virtually impossible to visit Hay-on-Wye's bookshops and come away empty-handed, although on a couple of occasions 18 months ago that is exactly what happened. I was speifically looking for old horse books, and they had none which fitted my bill - what was on offer I already had!
Yesterday I didn't include antiquarian horse books in my remit as they don't come cheap. However, I had flagged up Phil Rickman (saw nary a one, but probably not looking in the right areas), C Henry Warren (only one and I already had it), H V Morton (success!), and anything that took my fancy in the way of between the wars books about the countryside, old buildings etc.
My dear friend MM, from across the pond, has recently been talking to me about Edwin Way Teale, the American naturalist. Imagine my delight when I actually found a hardback copy (1945, so probably a first edition - not that such things matter to me) of his book The Lost Woods for just £2. I am looking forward to settling down with it this evening, when my day's work is done.
I was delighted to find another H V Morton to add to my collection too: The Call of England (1933, 10th edition), £4. He wrote so eloquently, and found such interesting facts to include in his books. I shall put an extract as a blog posting shortly.
I also added to another of my collections, the Batsford books of the 1930s which wrote about the countryside, towns, villages, areas (as in Cotswolds), and buildings of Britain. This one is The Old Inns of England (2nd edition, 1935). The illustrations are superb - both photographs and line drawings - and for just £3 it was a bargain in my eyes. What price knowledge?
Finally, I found my hand hovering over D Parry-Jones' Welsh Country Upbringing. Born in 1891, he will be long-dead now, but wrote several books, others being Welsh Country Characters (which I may buy another time, as it was fascinating reading too), Welsh Legends and Fairy Lore, Welsh Legends and Folk Tales, Welsh Childrens' Games and Pastimes, My Own Folk and A Welsh Country Parson. There are photographs of Carmarthen from the early 20th century - cockle women selling their wares on the old Carmarthen Market, a clogmakers' camp at Llandovery, the hermit of Llangeler (John James of Waunfawr) , and the 'Car Llusg' or wheel-less cart still in use in Llanffynydd (our nearest village). This book also deserves a post to itself.
For a little money spent (£14 I think) - SUCH lasting pleasure.