Cockatrice Books

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Cockatrice Books

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Since the start of 2015, Cockatrice has been publishing groundbreaking short stories from Wales and beyond, masterful novels, brilliant nonfiction and outstanding scholarship by the best of Welsh authors, original fiction by Rob Mimpriss and A. L. Reynolds, and Roger Granelli and Nigel Jarrett to come. The hell with your red dragon: it’s the cockatrice leads the way.

Pugnacious Little Trolls by Rob Mimpriss

Nominated for the Wales Book of the Year Award

Pugnacious Little TrollsIn his first three short-story collections, Rob Mimpriss painstakingly mapped the unregarded lives of Welsh small-town and country-dwellers. In Pugnacious Little Trolls, he combines the skill and quiet eloquence of his earlier work with confident experimentation, with stories set among the bird-bodied harpies of Central America, among the dog-headed Cynocephali of Central Asia, among humanity’s remote descendants at the very end of the universe, and in the muddle of slag-heaps and job centres that H. G. Wells’s Country of the Blind has become. In the three stories at the heart of the collection is Tanwen, idealistic and timid, embarking on her adult life in the shadow of global warming and English nationalism.

‘Where is the Welsh short story going? Wherever Rob Mimpriss takes it.’

John O’Donoghue

‘freely and fiercely inventive short stories… supercharged with ideas’

Jon Gower, Nation Cymru

‘Beyond question Wales’s finest and most subtle short-story writer working today... A work of great beauty and subtle force, a fine, distinctive voice.’

Jim Perrin

‘bathed in white fire in every sense… Borges would happily own them.’

Gee Williams

Published as part of the Wales in Europe series: celebrating the past and future of Wales as an independent nation.

ISBN: 978-1912368242. Format: Paperback, 5×8in. 132pp. Price: £6.99

The Sleeping Bard by Ellis Wynne

Cover image of The Sleeping BardThree nightmare visions of the world, of death and of hell.

The anonymous poet is dragged from sleep by the fairies of Welsh myth, and rescued by an angel is taken to see the City of Doom, whose citizens vie for the favour of Belial’s three beautiful daughters; to the realm of King Death, the rebellious vassal of Lucifer; and finally to Hell itself, where Lucifer debates with his demons which sin shall rule Great Britain.

First published in 1703, this classic of religious allegory and Welsh prose combines all the blunt urgency of John Bunyan with the vivid social satire of Dryden and Pope, and is published in the T. Gwynn Jones translation of 1940, with an introduction by Rob Mimpriss reflecting on its political significance as the union of England and Scotland comes to an end.

Published as part of the Wales in Europe series, celebrating the past and future of Wales as an independent nation.

ISBN: 978-1-912368-31-0. Format: Paperback, 5×8in. 176pp. Price: £9.99

A History of Wales by J. E. Lloyd

With a foreword by Leanne Wood

Cover image of A History of WalesFrom evidence of the earliest human habitations of Wales to the death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, Wales’s last native ruler, in 1282, J. E. Lloyd’s magisterial book covers the full sweep of Welsh history. Lavishly annotated, comprehensively indexed, it covers the well-known names of Welsh history — Llywelyn the Great, Hywel the Good, the Lord Rhys — as well as a host of lesser-known princes, of poets, clergy, courtiers, warriors and lovers, bringing to life and understanding Wales’s laws, its political institutions, its complex internecine conflicts, and its aspirations as a united mediaeval state.

Republished after more than one hundred years, with a new foreword by Leanne Wood reflecting on its relevance to the Wales of our day, this book tells us how, even in defeat, its rulers laid the basis of a Welsh nationhood that is as much alive now as in the golden age of the princes.

Published as part of the Wales in Europe series: celebrating the past and future of Wales as an independent nation.

ISBN: 978-1-912368-30-3. Format: Paperback, 7×10in. 612pp. Price: £21.99

Of the Ninth Verse by A. L. Reynolds

Nominated for the Republic of Consciousness Prize

Cover image of Of the Ninth VerseAnwen and her younger brother, Idwal, are inseparable almost from birth. The childhood they share involves harvesting the hay and looking after the newborn lambs in the Conwy valley, though Anwen sees before her the promise of a degree in Edinburgh or Durham and a career as a mathematician, while Idwal seems destined by his strength and skill to take over the running of the family farm. Then, as their feelings for each other grow darker and more complex, Anwen finds herself put to a terrifying choice. With a luminous prose that reflects the richness of the novel’s inner and outer landscapes, Of the Ninth Verse explores both the violent, destructive force of passion and the fragility of the human heart.

‘With its austere beauty and precisely knowledgeable evocations of the land, its people, and its rhythms, written in prose “felt in the blood, and felt along the heart”, Of the Ninth Verse has a profound and rooted authenticity that convinces and enchants – an enthralling novel by a writer at the peak of her powers.’

Jim Perrin

‘This subtly written novel is both a coming-of-age story, and a love story with a difference. Rooted firmly in rural Wales, it tells a compelling narrative of forbidden yet irresistible love. Reynolds handles the plot and characters beautifully, and the prose is elegant and readable. The female perspective is convincing, as the novel unrolls to its inevitable ending.’

Angela Topping, poet and critic

‘a chronicler of the region’s disappearing heritage.’

North Wales Chronicle

For all its drama and sense of foreboding, Of the Ninth Verse is a strangely comforting read. And it is so much more than a novel about an illicit relationship. ...For me, it is the authenticity of the story that stays with you. Of The Ninth Verse is a love story. And a compassionate and incredibly convincing one at that.

Some Melodious Plot

ISBN: 978-1912368273. Format: Paperback, 5×8in. 422pp. Price: £12.99

Welsh Folklore and Folk Custom by T. Gwynn Jones

Cover image of Welsh Folklore and Folk CustomT. Gwynn Jones was both a distinguished poet, critic and translator, and a scholar of Welsh folklore. With a historical sweep which links the customs and superstitions of the early twentieth century with the gods and heroes of prehistory, he presents a panoply of witches, giants, fairies, ghosts, gods and monsters, traditional medicine, rural magic and calendar festivals in an erudite yet accessible introduction to the rich and fascinating folk heritage of Wales.

Published as part of the Welsh Folklore series: fiction, translation and scholarship inspired by the rich folk heritage of Wales.

ISBN: 978-1912368150. Format: Paperback, 5×8in. 280pp. Price: £9.99

              

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, O. M. Edwards, Caradoc Evans, Vsevolod Garshin, Gildas, J. A. Giles, Geraint Goodwin, Roger Granelli (forthcoming), James Harries, Sivert and Elizabeth Hjerleide, T. Gwynn Jones, Richard Hughes Williams, Nigel Jarrett (forthcoming), T. J. Llewelyn Pritchard, J. E. Lloyd, Morgan Llwyd, Rob Mimpriss (editor), George Moore, Nennius, Daniel Owen, Elias Owen, A. L. Reynolds, Wirt Sikes, Rowland Smith, Claud Vivian, E. L. Voynich, Leanne Wood, Ellis Wynne, Owen Wynne Jones.

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