Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I'm pleased to announce the official release of the book A Welsh Hundred: Glimpses of Life in Wales (drawn from a pair of family diaries for 1841 and 1940), by W. Ambrose Bebb; translated from the Welsh by Marc K. Stengel. The book is available directly from AuthorHouse, the publisher, in both the US ($9.90) and the UK (£6.80), using the links appearing below. A Welsh Hundred [ISBN 9781434359919] is also available from Amazon.com, Borders.com, BarnesandNoble.com, as well as at all discriminating booksellers.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Marc Stengel
With Newly Translated A Welsh Hundred,
One of Wales’ Favorite Sons Makes Long-Overdue Return to Print
With the recent publication of A Welsh Hundred: Glimpses of Life in Wales, the crisp, evocative voice of Welsh writer and statesman W. Ambrose Bebb comes to life again after a silence of almost 70 years.
A Welsh Hundred
An ardent defender of the Welsh language and prominent activist on behalf of Welsh political self-determination, W. A. Bebb’s entire body of work (numbering some two dozen volumes and scores of periodical articles) has existed until now solely in the Welsh language. In 2009, over half a century after his untimely death in 1955 at age 61, Bebb’s surviving children have consented to allow their father’s work to appear in English for the first time. With A Welsh Hundred, writer and translator Marc K. Stengel – a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada – makes available the first in a series of planned re-releases of Bebb’s most significant works of Welsh history, cultural observation and travel writing.
During his lifetime, Ambrose Bebb was perhaps best known as a revered and popular lecturer at Normal College, Bangor, as well as one of three co-founders in the 1920s of Plaid Cymru/The Party of Wales. The intensity of his Welsh patriotism and the persuasiveness of his defense of Welsh culture have been obscured since his death by the inaccessibility of his works to the English-speaking world-at-large. The books comprising A Welsh Hundred, published this summer by AuthorHouse, have been specifically selected for Bebb’s English-language debut on account of their breezy, conversational style and their intimate, episodic cameos depicting Welsh daily life. At a more subtle yet fundamental level, however, A Welsh Hundred is also the portrait of an age – a vital century in the life of Great Britain during which traditional, rural village culture was uprooted and transformed by the twin forces of industrialization and emigration into our recognizably modern society of towns and cities, untrammeled progress, mass communications…and total war.
At the summit of his prolific career, Bebb was heralded by his Welsh contemporaries as “the writer of the most beautiful and most vivacious Welsh of our century” and “as a literary man who was a splendid artist. He had the rich vocabulary of Cardiganshire,…of dialect witticism, moral idioms, proverbs and rhymes, a cascade of language.” For far too long, this unique blend of talent, cleverness and verbal mischief has been out of the reach of an English-reading public. Upon encountering W. Ambrose Bebb for the first time in the pages of A Welsh Hundred, it will become all too clear to readers that the experience of life in Britain ranges far beyond the confines of English only – and is, in fact, immeasurably enriched by spices and seasonings not the least bit Anglo-Saxon in flavor.
A Welsh Hundred [ISBN 9781434359919] is published by AuthorHouse both in the United Kingdom and in North America. Direct orders (priced $9.90/£6.80 per copy) may be placed with the publisher online at AuthorHouse.com (US) or AuthorHouse.co.uk (UK). A Welsh Hundred is also available via major online retailers, including Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, BarnesandNoble.com and Borders.com (priced $14.49/£8.95 per copy); as well as through all major bookstores and discriminating booksellers. Sample selections from A Welsh Hundred are posted at the AuthorHouse website and at the translator's Welsh Hundred blog. Any questions or enquiries concerning A Welsh Hundred may be directed to the translator, Marc K. Stengel, using any of the following media:
[PLEASE NOTE: Between 17 August and 3 October, 2009, the translator of A Welsh Hundred, Marc Stengel, will be traveling extensively through mid-Wales in connection with research for a forthcoming book project. During this time, Stengel will be promoting his translations of Bebb’s diaries in person in towns and villages along an itinerary conforming approximately to the Usk, Teifi and Wye river valleys. During the course of this journey, which he is undertaking entirely on-foot, Stengel will be available for comment via telephone, email or in person concerning any aspect of A Welsh Hundred or his plans to release subsequent volumes of Bebb’s works which have already been translated.]
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W. Ambrose Bebb (1894-1955) was revered in Wales as a writer, historian, teacher and statesman. A native of rural West Wales, he graduated from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1918 with honors in Welsh and History, whereupon he earned his M.A. degree in 1920. He subsequently lectured at the Sorbonne in Paris and traveled widely in France, Brittany and the Continent before returning permanently to North Wales where he lectured in History and Welsh at Normal College, Bangor. Bebb was also a co-founder of the Welsh Nationalist Party whose Plaid Cymru members today constitute an increasingly visible presence in the U.K. Parliament at Westminster and in the National Assembly for Wales at Cardiff. Marc K. Stengel, a dual-citizen of the U.S.A. and Canada, is a writer and translator living in Nashville, Tennessee.
By combining a pair of diaries written a century apart, A Welsh Hundred reveals for the first time in English the genuine character of daily life in the Welsh-speaking heartlands of Middle and North Wales. In the hands of W. Ambrose Bebb, the published diary opened up a new avenue for Welsh-language literature; and Bebb's work was hailed at its debut as "the tour de force of a true artist.... There is nothing exactly like it to be found written in Welsh, French or English." This contemporary translation gives English readers their first glimpse into the joys and disappointments, struggles and achievements of "real life" in Wales as lovingly portrayed by one of her favorite sons. [Pictured: The original first editions of the two diaries, published in Welsh in 1941]
As of Friday, 10 July 2009, the book A Welsh Hundred: Glimpses of Life in Wales (drawn from a pair of family diaries for 1841 and 1940) is officially in-production and scheduled for imminent release. The book will be available directly from AuthorHouse [A Welsh Hundred] as well as from all prominent online booksellers.