"Even Hannibal himself wou'd have found it impossible to have march'd his army over Snowden"
Daniel de Foe, A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain... 1724
"It would be the height of ingratitude to find fault with any thing, where kindness and humanity were so predominant."
Mary Morgan, A tour to Milford Haven, in the year 1791.
"At Holly well they speake Welsh; the inhabitants go barefoote and bare leg'd - a nasty sort of people. Their meate is very small here, Mutton is noe bigger than Little Lamb, what of it there is was sweete; their wine good being Neare ye Sea side, and are well provided with ffish - very good Salmon and Eeles and other ffish I had at Harding."
Celia Fiennes, Through England on a Side Saddle, 1698
David Lloyd Owen introduces us to the fascinating breadth of travellers' tales from a mysterious and absorbing country: writers who described a land of mountains and valleys, ruined castles, and abandoned monasteries, and give us tales of strange locals who spoke another language and were known as the Welsh.
A Wilder Wales highlights the astonishing transformation of Wales from a poor rural backwater to the crucible of the industrial revolution and offers readers an insight into the ways in which outsiders viewed the land and its people.
About David Lloyd Owen:
David Lloyd Owen was born in London and spent his summers at the family house near Llangrannog, Ceredigion. After reading environmental biology at Liverpool University, he went to Jesus College, Oxford for his doctoral research on the behaviour and ecology of the Chough. He put his animal behaviour research to good use by becoming an equity analyst in the City of London. He started following the water sector in 1989. Since 1996, he has been a water consultant, advising governments, multilateral institutions, companies, and banks about water policy, especially regarding finance and sustainability.
He now lives in Wales on a farm near Cardigan with his wife, Polly, children Bethan and Trystan and plenty of animals. As well as collecting books on Wales and South & Central Asia, he dabbles in rural life, writing, epicure and local politics, serving as Mayor of Cardigan in 2003-4.