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The Romantics in Wales

An Anthology

Illustrated with wood engravings by HILARY PAYNTER

This anthology of extracts from English Romantic writers is drawn from poetry, essays, novels, travel writing and letters. A seven-page introduction shows how Wales became a fashionable destination in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, partly because the Napoleonic Wars made travelling difficult in Europe, and partly as a result of an increased interest in folklore and antiquarianism. Extracts from Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley and Southey figure largely in this selection, but there are also pieces by De Quincey, Hazlitt and Peacock and a wide range of lesser figures. The arrangement is thematic: Distant Prospects, History and Legend, Anticipations, The Welsh, The Language, Religion and Reform, Characters, Valleys and Ruins, Rivers and Cataracts, In the Mountains, Lake and Coast, Towns and Places. Separate notes trace the growth of interest in the Wye valley and outline the current critical discussion of Wordsworth's 'Tintern Abbey' and of the Snowdon passage in the 'Prelude'.

In addition to a Select Bibliography, references to books and articles relating to Wales are included in the biographical notes. There is an index of persons, and one of places that indicates the present-day form.

GLYN TEGAI HUGHES lectured in English at the University of Basel and in Comparative Literary Studies at Manchester, before becoming the first Warden of Gregynog in the University of Wales (1964-1989). His publications include two volumes on German Romanticism and books on the hymn-writer Williams Pantycelyn and, in Welsh, the poet Islwyn.

He is a former Governor of the BBC and one of the founder members of Channel4andS4C.

HILARY PAYNTER was born in 1943 in Dunfermline and studied sculpture and wood engraving at Portsmouth College of Art. Instrumental in the revival of the Society of Wood Engravers in the early 1980s, Hilary was its lynchpin for over three decades, initially as Honorary Secretary, later as Chairman. In 2006, she was also elected President of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers. Her work is represented in the Ashmolean, Fitzwilliam and Victoria & Albert museums, as well as in city galleries including Birmingham, Hereford and Portsmouth; and in the universities of London and Northumbria.

She has illustrated books for a number of publishers, and in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Thomas Bewick, a suite of 14 wood engravings by her was enlarged to two metres high and, stretching over 22 metres, printed onto vitreous enamel panels and installed on the Metro platforms at Central Station, Newcastle. Her sixteen engravings for The Romantics in Wales (ten of which are full-page) combine acute and subtle observation, complete mastery of technique and, on occasion, captivating imaginative re-creation, as in a vision of the Shelleys' home at Cwm Elan, now under the waters of the reservoir. Other views include Pistyll Rhaeadr, Plas Newydd and Dinas Bran, Snowdonia, Symonds Yat, Tintern Abbey, Valle Crucis, and the castles at Caernarfon, Chepstow and Raglan.


The edition is limited to 150 numbered copies in a quarter-leather binding by John Sewell to a design by Hilary Paynter. A further 15, numbered I-XV, are issued in a special design binding by John Sewell in collaboration with David Sellars. The text is set in Monotype Walbaum, and display lines in Monotype Romulus, all cast at Gwasg Gregynog by Gerard O'Shea. A digitized version of Open Romulus has been used on the title-page and is printed from a line block.

The page design, by David Vickers, echoes the large paper format of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, and the book is printed by him on a special making of Zerkall mould-made paper. Hilary Paynter's wood engravings are printed direct from the original woodblocks, and are also available as signed prints. 222pp., 245X350mm.

THE BINDING Bound by John Sewell to a design by Hilary Paynter. Hand-sewn and bound by hand in quarter dark blue goatskin, with hand-sewn silk endbands and titled along the spine. The upper cover printed black over dark mauve cloth boards with detail from Hilary Paynter's engraving of Pistyll Rhaeadr, a design which is mirrored on the lower cover.

Presented in a buckram-covered slip case.

Copies may be order up to 10th November 2009 at the special pre-publication price of £725. Orders after that date will be at the full price of £795.

ISBN 9780954983963

Available in sheets for bookbinders and in a special binding: contact the press for details.


A number of individual prints are available: Large (A4) £130, Small £65. Please contact us for details.

Price: £795.00 (Quarter bound)
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£500.00 (Unbound)
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Example pages: click on an image for a larger version.