What makes the Welsh WELSH: A guide to understanding the Welsh that explores their nature and outlook with wit and warmth.
‘Essential reading for all partners of the Welsh! This little book is wonderful. The observations of the peculiarities and foibles of the Welsh are highly accurate and I could see myself in almost every paragraph, if not myself then certainly a not too distant relative or friend. My wife is English and she feels the accuracy of the book is second to none and would probably never have married me had she read it 20 years ago. Enjoy the whole book in an evening then take it down the pub the next night where you can share the humour!’ Reviewer from London, England (ex Swansea)
‘Richards has an incisive wit and a dry almost acerbic style that produces a beautifully written, and genuinely funny guide to my own homeland, Wales. Culturally, it is possible when you come from a small nation, to take yourself too seriously. Richards, also a Welshman, avoids this with honest, self-deprecating wit. A great read or a nice gift for the Welshman (or someone who is not so blessed ) in your life.’ Reviewed by S Fairney, Hampshire, UK
‘As an Englishman, dismissing the Welsh with jokes about sheep, beer, mining and rugby, comes as second nature. This book achieves the mini-miracle of convincing the reader that, while there may be a fair bit of truth in these prejudices, there is more to it than that, and that the Welsh are different, not just an addition to England. I expected to be at best slightly amused, but came away with fresh knowledge, and (briefly!) sympathetic to the subject matter, which surprised me. The author covers the subject with humour, learning and passion – but then, he is Welsh.’
Reviewer residing in San Juan, Alicante, Spain
‘A short but very witty and extremely well observed overview of Wales, its people and culture. Working its way through religion, sport, social structure (the Welsh Matriarchy), drinking, rugby, and more drinking, it had me laughing out loud with its insightful observations (although these were not always complimentary, they were all true!).’ Reviewer from Ottawa, Canada
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Links to make you laugh
About the author
John Winterson Richards has Welsh parents and was born in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, in no less a place than Saint David’s Hospital.
Despite this most promising start, he turned out badly. It was soon discovered that he possessed a singing voice like a frog, he enjoyed drinking French red wines even when beer was available, and the nicest thing ever said about his attempt to turn himself into a tolerably mediocre loose-head prop forward was that his ‘enthusiasm for rugby greatly exceeds his skill’. Obviously he was unfit for the company of civilised people. He was therefore exiled to England.
Whilst suffering this, the greatest punishment that can be inflicted on any Welshman, he got himself educated and studied to become a lawyer (being too lazy for medicine and completely unsuited for the Church). Living with the English for several years so broadened his mind that he became a rabid Welsh nationalist.
Finally overcome with hiraeth, he returned home and set up a management consultancy with the aim of bringing enterprise and prosperity to his fellow countrymen. Since few of them appear to be interested in enterprise or prosperity, he has had limited success to date. This is probably just as well: had he actually succeeded, he would have caused far more offence than his singing ever did.