At the Bright Hem of God: Radnorshire Pastoral

Overview

Radnorshire, a county rural and remote. The lives of its sparse population continue to be shaped by the wild landscape of valleys and mountains in ways that for Britain now lie in the past.

Yet down the centuries Radnorshire has fascinated and inspired, as a place of contemplation, exploration, creation and retreat. In At the Bright Hem of God Peter J. Conradi examines both his own relationship with the place and responses to it by writers from Gerald of Wales, who passed ...

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Overview

Radnorshire, a county rural and remote. The lives of its sparse population continue to be shaped by the wild landscape of valleys and mountains in ways that for Britain now lie in the past.

Yet down the centuries Radnorshire has fascinated and inspired, as a place of contemplation, exploration, creation and retreat. In At the Bright Hem of God Peter J. Conradi examines both his own relationship with the place and responses to it by writers from Gerald of Wales, who passed through in 1176, to the present day. On the way he takes in fifteenth century court poets; the metaphysicals Herbert, Vaughan and Traherne; the Romantic poets and Rousseau (who almost lived there and whose ideas did); diarist Francis Kilvert and his editor William Plomer; artist Eric Gill and poet David Jones; Bruce Chatwin, whose On the Black Hill is the most famous Radnorshire novel; and poets R.S. Thomas, Roland Mathias and Ruth Bidgood, the county's current remembrancer.

The result is an astonishing account, a trip across landscapes and borders - physical, emotional and intellectual - the culmination of over forty years of visiting and living there. Conradi's perceptive narrative is complemented by superb ink drawings by the Radnorshire artist Simon Dorrell to produce a beautiful book, a love letter to a place still hidden from most of the country.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[At the Bright Hem of God] is extraordinarily rich in narrative and scope of reference, and often poetic in its evocation of this loneliest of rural places, a landscape of 'golden silences.' Wandering smoothly and beguilingly among topics, personalities and historical periods, startling with little known facts, both celebration and elegy, it is a lovely book."  —PN Review 190

"Elegantly written."  —New Welsh Review

New Welsh Review
Elegantly written.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781854114907
  • Publisher: Seren
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter J. Conradi is a biographer, a journalist, and the author of Going Buddhist and Iris Murdoch: A Life.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 The March

1965 11

'Psycho-geography' 28

Part 2 Then

1176: Summer 49

22 June 1402: The Great Century 66

1593-1695: The Paradise Within 84

18 January 1766: Rousseau and Radnorshire 102

Autumn 1937 and Summer 1870: Estrangement and Belonging 121

1905: Sacred Space 139

Solitude and Community 155

Seers and Remembrancers 173

Part 3 Now

Now 197

Acknowledgements 218

Select Bibliography 219

Publisher's Acknowledgements 232

Index 233

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