Hunangofiant Glanmor Williams, hanesydd amlwg, awdurdod ar hanes cynnar Cymru, darlithydd a darlledwr enwog, ac awdur toreithiog a urddwyd yn farchog am ei gyfraniad i ddiwylliant a bywyd academaidd Cymru. 18 ffotograff du-a-gwyn. Cyhoeddwyd gyntaf ym Mai 2002.
The autobiography of Glanmor Williams, renowned historian and authority on early modern Wales, distinguished lecturer and broadcaster, and prolific author who was knighted for his contribution to Welsh culture and academic life. 18 black-and-white photographs. First published in May 2002.
We have cause to be especially grateful that Professor Emeritus Glanmor Williams, one of our most eminent historians and most distinguished public figures during the twentieth century, was persuaded to expand on his reflections of his early years at Dowlais and Merthyr to write an immensely readable and fascinating volume of autobiography.
Born at Dowlais to working-class parents on the eve of the severe inter-war depression, the author devotes his early chapters to his background, family, community and schooldays, where he writes with unbounded affection and undisguised hiraeth. Subsequently we read of the eventful, character-forming period that he spent during the Second World War at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, where he studied both Welsh and history, profiting immeasurably from this enriching experience.
He spent almost the whole of his professional career as a lecturer (from 1957 as Professor of History) at the University College of Swansea. Quite apart from his unrivalled success as a teacher and mentor to generations of students, he built up an enviable department with a formidable cohort of distinguished historians (many of them Welsh historians), penned some of the nation's most substantial works on early modern Welsh history and inspired countless others. In this book he is characteristically generous to many of his contemporaries and to a whole host of younger scholars, and clearly takes an especial pride in so many of the projects with which he was so closely associated, among them the Glamorgan County History and the Oxford History of Wales.
Equally important to him are his links with an array of outside bodies such as the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments, the University's Board of Celtic Studies, the BBC in Wales and the St Fagans Folk Museum. The volume, too, is notably candid and frank; the author writes with emotion of personal events, among them the deaths of his parents, especially that of his mother in 1970 which brought him to the verge of a nervous breakdown. Nor does he shy away from those (admittedly rare) occasions when he was subject to personal criticism and accusations of favouritism.
Glanmor Williams writes with unfailing humanity, generosity and humour. His personal experiences are described against the backdrop of local and national events. The text is characterised by the lucidity and clarity of style of which the author is an undisputed master, and touches on many aspects of our national life during the last century. The volume is notably well produced, a real credit to its printers, Gwasg Dinefwr, and contains a host of charming and highly evocative photographs. It is a real pleasure to peruse its pages.
J Graham Jones
It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.