Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Wynford Vaughan-Thomas on: Welsh Travel Books

A Book About Wales

I once wrote a book about Wales.  It was called 'Wynford Vaughan-Thomas's Wales'.  In it, I explored the beautiful hills, coasts and mountains of our magnificent country.  I wanted to feel my country; so I spent a lot of time in pubs drinking beer and writing notes on the back of fag packets.  Of course, I lost the fag packets and had to wing it about three days before the deadline...but that made for a genuine book.  A book full of passion; a book that encapsulated the hungover magnificence of Wales.

My chapters wove from hill to pub and back again.  I wrote about the verdant majesty of Cymru; the trees, the rivers, the beer, the poetic air, the beer, the sheep, the beer...did I mention the beer?  I wrote about the beer as well.

Nowadays, though, it seems that books about Wales are becoming increasingly flouncy.  Coyote and Roadrunner recently brought me one to have a look at and I wasn't impressed.  The photographs were adequate; but they were in colour!  Everybody knows that Wales is in black and white!  Especially Fishguard.  The chap who wrote it made out that he did a lot of walking when it was clear that he just went from place to place by helicopter and, judging by his prose, he didn't write a single chapter while lying on the sticky carpet of a dark pub squinting through one bloodshot eye.  Where's the soul?

I made £1.94 out of my book.  Back in those days that was enough to buy you a three-storey house in Pontcanna, a Triumph Spitfire and a pair of green corduroys.  I wouldn't like to think how much this man made from his book.  I bet he got at least £10.  Disgusting.

I made my feelings known.

No comments:

Post a Comment