As a response to the celebrations taking place across the border this weekend, the Cockatrice offers discounts on two Welsh classics reflecting on monarchy, commonwealth, union, and England’s place in the world. Y diawl a’m llaw chwith: the devil and my left hand.
The Sleeping Bard by Ellis Wynne
Translated by T. Gwynn Jones, with an introduction by Rob Mimpriss
Three 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.
A Book of Three Birds by Morgan Llwyd
Translated with an introduction by Rob Mimpriss
Morgan Llwyd (1619-1659), the nephew of a professional soldier and magician, was a Roundhead, a millenialist, a chaplain in the army of Oliver Cromwell, and later a civil servant of the commonwealth in Wales.
His famous religious allegory, A Book of Three Birds, is considered the most important Welsh book of the Seventeenth Century, and an enduring masterpiece of Welsh prose. With its introduction reflecting on the political upheavals of our time, this new translation by Rob Mimpriss brings to life the pungency of Morgan Llwyd’s writing, the richness of his religious and political thought, and the urgency of his drama and characterisation.
‘Lucid, skilful, and above all, of enormous timely relevance.’
Published as part of the Wales in Europe series: celebrating the past and future of Wales as an independent nation.