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Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Pilgrim of Peace - A Life of George M. Ll. Davies
Jen Llywelyn
ISBN: 9781784612405 (1784612405)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Chwefror 2016
Cyhoeddwr: Y Lolfa, Tal-y-bont
Fformat: Clawr Meddal, 215x140 mm, 288 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Ar gael Ein Pris: £12.99 
Sgôr y Cwsmeriaid ar gyfartaledd:
 
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
 
Darllen Adolygiadau...
Cofiant yr heddychwr George M. Ll. Davies (1880-1949), gweinidog gyda'r Methodistiaid a chymodwr, gwrthwynebydd cydwybodol, Aelod Seneddol a Chymro carismataidd. Mae'r gyfrol yn adlewyrchu ei ddiddordebau eang ac yn ei osod yng nghanol digwyddiadau hanner cyntaf yr 20fed ganrif yng Nghymru a thu hwnt. 30 o luniau.

The biography of the peacemaker George M. Ll. Davies (1880-1949), Methodist minister and conciliator, conscientious objector, Member of Parliament and charismatic Welshman, reflecting his broad spectrum of interests and placing him at the heart of events in the first half of the 20th century in Wales and beyond. 30 images.
There are certain names which are known to many of us but about whom we know far too little. One such man is George Maitland Lloyd Davies, ‘pacifist, conscientious objector, and peace-maker’, as he is described on the cover of this attractive and interesting biography.

George Davies, the youngest of four brothers, was born into a prosperous Welsh family in Liverpool in 1880, and his people were very much a part of the middle-class life of the Welsh community in that city, regarded at the time as the capital of north Wales. The family would holiday in Edern on the Llŷn Peninsula, where the boys would practise their Welsh. He numbered among his ancestors the great Welsh preacher, John Jones of Tal-y-sarn, and chapel life was important to the family. It is sad and sobering to read how many chapel people turned their backs on them when Davies’s father went bankrupt in 1891 and lost status as a result. No doubt such experiences helped to strengthen the boy’s resolve, and on leaving school he began work at a bank, becoming manager at Wrexham in 1908 and joining the Territorials. But health problems and a breakdown which was the precursor of many difficulties throughout his life gave him pause and prompted a change of direction. In 1911 he had become secretary of David Davies Llandinam’s Welsh Housing Association, and from then on his life was to be dominated by an ever-growing urge to work for the benefit of his fellow human beings. By 1914 he had experienced a reaffirmation of his Christian faith, expressed in a determination to promote ‘personal friendships and communications between men, between men and their god, and through communion with the beauty of humanity and all creation’.

But 1914 also saw the outbreak of war, and Davies, who had by now embraced pacifism, was one of the founder members of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. His stand as a pacifist brought him spells in prison, but after the war he was able to act as a peacemaker in talks about the future of Ireland. After serving for a short while as a Member of Parliament, he was ordained a minister in Tywyn, but became disillusioned with the inflexibility of denominational organisation and subsequently worked at the settlements of Brynmawr and Maes-yr-Haf in south Wales, which attempted to address some of the serious consequences of unemployment during the years of depression. In 1946 he settled at Dolwyddelan in north Wales and died in December 1949.

Throughout the work there is consistent emphasis on Davies’s high-minded idealism and his inspirational qualities, and it is made clear that he was a remarkable man, genuinely concerned for others and scrupulously fair-minded: while adhering to a pacifist stance he never condemned others who felt the need to respond to the call to arms. Yet much as the author admires Davies, this is no work of uncritical piety: she draws attention for instance to his sometimes strained relations with his family, and his constant battle with depression. What emerges is a well-rounded and satisfying portrait of a great man whose primary aim in life was to bring about reconciliation in the lives of others but who was rarely, if ever, fully at peace with himself.

Rhidian Griffiths


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.
Bywgraffiad Awdur:
Jen Llywelyn wrote her PhD thesis on George M. Ll. Davies, with encouragement and anecdotes from his family, and others who knew, loved and worked with George. She was able to include previously unseen letters from Leslie, George's wife. Jen lives in rural Ceredigion.
Gwybodaeth Bellach:
George M. Ll. Davies (1880–1949), conscientious objector, Member of Parliament, Methodist minister and conciliator, is best remembered and most revered as a peace-maker.
But the life of this charismatic Welshman reflected a broader spectrum of interests and activities which placed him at the heart of events in the first half of the twentieth century in Wales, and beyond.
From his roots in the Liverpool Welsh community, to his complicated relationship with organised religion and his uncertain engagement with party politics, his life embodied change and uncertainty as much as constancy.
Rather than the 'saint' of myth, George Davies was a complex figure who battled mental illness. His life reveals much about the challenges and pressures of this period.
“A lasting testimony to a true son of Wales. The author has ensured the reader understood the love George had for his country and his people.”
This the biography includes the context of his Liverpool Welsh upbringing (1880–1906); the Territorial Army (1909–wartime); the Welsh Town Planning and Housing Trust (1909–wartime); George's conscientious objection and tribunal; the prison system in 1918–19; George's time at Gregynog with the Misses Davies, and his interventions in Ireland; becoming MP for the University of Wales; life as a Non-conformist minister in Tywyn; the Welsh Schoolboys’ Camps Movement; projects with the Quakers in Brynmawr and Rhosllannerchrugog; the Settlement Movement in Wales, particularly in Trealaw and Wick; his later years and eventual suicide.
Mae'r teitl yma yn y categori a/neu is-gategori canlynol:
Rhoddodd J. Richard Williams o Llangefni i'r teitl yma ac ysgrifennodd:
"It was a pleasure to welcome George M. Ll. Davies into my world as I have known of his brother J. Glyn Davies for decades. Having read this book by Jen Llywelyn, I feel that I know both a lot better by now.
Because of their specialized nature, PhD theses, in general, are not meant to be read for pleasure but this is an example of an essay that has been turned into a very readable volume. It leads the reader through the life of George M. Ll. Davies gradually, so that we get to know the character who played so prominent a part in the cultural life of Wales but did not receive the plaudits that he should have. It is a chronicle of his life and work that develops gradually, chapter by chapter, to give us the important events in his life and the necessary background illustrations, to understand why things happened and developed as they did.
Despite, or maybe because of, the detailed research, the book reads easily. As I was not familiar with the subject, I have re-read his story and find myself learning and realizing a great deal about him. This will prove to be a very useful reference book in the future. It is obvious that the author has ‘known’ George well and her knowledge of him gives us a complete character portrait.
In Welsh history, there are many other characters who have not received the credit they deserve. I can only hope that Jen Llywelyn latches on to another one soon and that we see another volume of her work to expand our horizons. "
 
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