November 19th, 2016 saw Parthian Books launch Ugly, Lovely: Dylan Thomas’s Swansea and Carmarthenshire of the 1950s in picture, compiled by Ethel Ross, Edited by Hilly Janes. A brilliant compilation depicting Thomas’s favourite hangouts across Swansea and Carmarthenshire, Ross accompanies the pictures with quotes from Thomas’s poetry and her own comments. The book launch, held at the Dylan Thomas Centre, included a talk from Hilly Janes, our very own Richard Lewis Davies and Professor Dr John Goodby, Dylan Thomas expert. The trio discussed how the book came to be, where Hilly revealed that she discovered the album in her home, thought best not throw it away and then later decided it would make an interesting book. Hilly also did a book signing in Swansea’s
WHSmith where she was available not only to sign copies of the book but also to answer any questions about her Aunt, the idea for the book or anything else regarding her work.
The launch proved insightful for everyone involved as the audience provided fantastic information on what has become of some of the places photographed in the book.
At the launch Fluellen Theatre Company performed 'Lunch at Mussolini's', a little-known Dylan Thomas script that he gave Ethel in the 1930s, which is a little known script by Thomas.
The South Wales Evening Post publicised the book launch, giving some background information on Ethel Ross and how she knew Thomas, alongside a quotation from Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's cabinet member for enterprise, development and regeneration, "Combining with the Dylan Thomas Exhibition at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Saturday's event will once again celebrate Dylan's proud links with Swansea and other parts of South Wales that he drew so much inspiration from for his world-renowned writing."
The book is a wonderful homage to Swansea and Dylan Thomas, giving an insight into a brilliant man, it is a perfect gift for anyone interested in Dylan Thomas, anyone wanting to relive the Swansea and Carmarthenshire of the 1950s or perhaps someone who is interested in photography, available here on our website.