Wild Wales: Its People, Language and Scenery

Wild Wales: Its People, Language and Scenery

Wild Wales: Its People, Language and Scenery

Wild Wales: Its People, Language and Scenery

Excerpt

I have been invited by the editor of this series to say a few words upon Borrow's "Wild Wales." The invitation has come to me, he says, partly because during the latter days of Borrow's life I had the privilege as a very young man of enjoying his friendship, and partly because in my story, "Aylwin," and in my poem, "The Coming of Love," I have shown myself to be a true lover of Wales--a true lover, indeed, of most things Cymric.

Let me begin by saying that although the book is an entirely worthy compeer of "Lavengro" and "The Romany Rye," and although like them it is written in the autobiographic form, it belongs, as I propose to show further on, to an entirely different form of narrative from those two famous books. And it differs in this respect even from "The Bible in Spain." Unlike that splendid book, it is just a simple, uncoloured record of a walking tour through the Principality. As in any other itinerary, events in "Wild Wales" are depicted as they actually occurred, enriched by none of that glamour in which Borrow loved to disport himself. I remember once asking him why in this book he wrote an autobiographic narrative so fundamentally different from "Lavengro" and "The Romany Rye"--why he had made in this book none of those excursions into the realms of fancy which form so charming a part of his famous quasi-autobiographic narratives. It was entirely characteristic of him that he . . .

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