Wales: Churches, Houses, Castles

Simon Jenkins

Wales: Churches, Houses, Castles

From the great citadels of Caernarvon, Harlech, Powis and Beaumaris in the north, to the Victorian glories of Cardiff in the south, St David's cathedral ('the loveliest church in Wales') in the west to the exquisite little hill church of Patrishow in the east, from Plas Newydd above the Menai Straits to the romantic citadel of Carreg Cennan in the heart of the country, the buildings of Wales embody its history and are the equal of any in the British Isles. Simon Jenkins has travelled, it seems, every mile of the country to celebrate, and in some cases to find the very best of them, and irresistibly conveys in this book his enthusiasm for them. Cumulatively they amount to a cultural history of Wales by one of its most devoted sons. 4.3 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
Wales: Churches, Houses, Castles

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Travel, Art, Architecture & Photography
Format Hardback
Pages 432
RRP £25.00
Date of Publication December 2008
ISBN 978-0713998931
Publisher Allen Lane
 

From the great citadels of Caernarvon, Harlech, Powis and Beaumaris in the north, to the Victorian glories of Cardiff in the south, St David's cathedral ('the loveliest church in Wales') in the west to the exquisite little hill church of Patrishow in the east, from Plas Newydd above the Menai Straits to the romantic citadel of Carreg Cennan in the heart of the country, the buildings of Wales embody its history and are the equal of any in the British Isles. Simon Jenkins has travelled, it seems, every mile of the country to celebrate, and in some cases to find the very best of them, and irresistibly conveys in this book his enthusiasm for them. Cumulatively they amount to a cultural history of Wales by one of its most devoted sons.

Reviews

The Sunday Times

Hugh Pearman

...So the guide part is useful, Jenkins’s concise history of Wales superb, but more interesting to the casual reader is his attempt to get to grips with that tricky sense of Welsh inferiority. He gets round this largely by quoting others, carefully. “The Welsh are said to be hard-wired to aesthetic defeatism, if not to visual philistinism,” says Jenkins, who refutes the philistinism claim... Jenkins, you conclude, is as baffled by Welshness as anyone. But also enchanted. He loves this place, the mystery and oddness of it. Knowing it and loving it, he has produced an excellent book about it.

14/12/2008

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The Guardian

Jan Morris

A reference work about the buildings of Wales, rigorously organised and thorough, is made a thing of delight by its variety - learning leavened with humour, a lyrical sort of enthusiasm, eclectic architectural sympathies, fierce opinions and a fondness for quirk. It follows Jenkins's earlier volumes on the buildings and churches of England and, in this affectionate but clear-eyed response to his own father's country, his technique has reached fulfilment. It can never be a standard work. It is far from complete, if only because it generally includes only buildings that are open to the public.

06/12/2008

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The Daily Telegraph

Christopher Howse

Atmosphere means much to Jenkins. In the spirit of his England’s Thousand Best Churches, and its successor on houses, his criterion for including buildings is not for narrow architectural worth but for “the pleasure derived from a visit”. And, goodness, if it is a pleasure for us to join him in an armchair tour, then his travels in this undiscovered country (to most English people) make us want to leap up and take the first train to Chepstow (change at Newport).

30/12/2008

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