A (not-very-yet-too-very) brief history of “Wales” and “England”

It’s just not possible to condense a millennium of history into a single post without generalising massively and becoming irritatingly long. Sorry for both, but in the interests of brevity I’m starting at the non-existant year zero (between 1BC and… Read More

A rough timeline of Arthurian literature

Two key things become apparent when you sit down to trace the history of the development of Arthurian literature. First, medieval writers were huge on appropriation of stories. Huge! Second, Arthrui-mania wasn’t just a British thing–the Dutch, Scandinavian,… Read More

Old Welsh words that survived into English

Anglo-saxon (Germanic), Norman and Danish words dominate the language we know as ‘English’ but there are a number of ‘Welsh’ words that survived through to modern English. ‘Wales’ itself gets no points because it’s not a Welsh word… Read More

Celtic (and old Welsh) Spectrum

The Celtic spectrum different to ours. Theirs was based on and described by the quality of the hue, not the wavelength. Thus, the early Welsh ‘llywd’ can mean brown (like paper), blue (like mould) or grey (like rabbit)… Read More

Welsh naming structure

Typically, going back to the earliest naming conventions of Wales/Cymru names had very formal structures but weren’t simply limited to patronyms. Individuals had a given name followed by a byname. Patronyms (ie: being named for your father) were,… Read More

Myrddin Wyltt – the man before the wizard

In naming my hero from book three in the y Ddraig series, Lailocen (the Myrddyn), I went back to a range of old Celto-Cymric legends. The ‘Merlin’ as he is most commonly recognised today was a collective evolution of… Read More

Did ‘The Hobbit’ come from ‘The Mabinogion’?

J.R.R Tolkien was a card-carrying fan of all things Welsh. He loved the country, he loved the language, he loved the literature and became somewhat of an expert in it even busying himself working on both translations and… Read More

Waxing lyrical

This phrase is still fairly well used — ‘waxing poetic’ in the US and ‘waxing lyrical’ in most other English languages. The fact that waxing lyrical and waxing poetic both exist and are deemed interchangeable makes me think… Read More

Language Tree

Brilliantly conceived language tree showing how language evolved. Look at Welsh tucked away there on their own tiny branch so far from English.  

y Ddraig Map

The stories of y Ddraig are based on real characters of history, myth or literature and, thus, some places in the stories are real. Caer Gai (known as Caer Gynyr in ‘Sacrifice’ but Caer Gai by ‘Ascension’) did… Read More