A new book, ‘Myths & Legends of the Brecon Beacons’, launched with a sell-out event at the Hay Literary Festival over the bank holiday weekend. An audience of more than 700 were captivated by award winning author Horatio Clare reading aloud from the book of short stories which immediately shot to the top of the on-site best seller list.
The Brecon Beacons National Park is home to many captivating myths and legends of which Horatio has taken 10 and re told them each with a contemporary voice. The event was opened by Ken Skates Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure. Festival Director Peter Florence interviewed Horatio, who entertained the audience explaining how he had researched the project before reading , ‘The Wild Boar Chase’, ‘The Lady of the Lake’ and ‘The Real Christmas Day Massacre’ to the audience. The stories must have engaged everyone as they then thronged the Festival book shop to pick up their own copies of the book and kept Horatio busy for an hour and a half after the event signing their books, propelling ‘Myths & Legends of the Brecon Beacons’ to the top seller on site that day.
Over the coming weeks the National Park Authority will be featuring all the stories on their partnership site www.breconbeacons.org accompanied by walking routes. Readers can search for the cave where Arthur and his knights slumber somewhere near Dinas Rock, or visit Craig y nos Country Park to admire the former estate of Adelina Patti – the most famous Opera Diva of the Victorian Age. Each legend comes with has its own individually drawn map and characters, beautifully done by illustrator Jane Matthews, who regularly works with Horatio Clare.
Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure who opened the launch commented;
“Visit Wales named 2017 as the Year of Legends and this new book is a fantastic celebration of that theme. It is a great way of reintroducing people to the some of the many myths and legends within the Brecon Beacons National Park, encouraging them into the landscape to retrace the scenes of the stories for themselves.”
Peter Gill, of Graffeg added;
“The Brecon Beacons are sown with extraordinary tales – haunted castles, bottomless lakes, along with echoes of miracles and massacres. Horatio has given these stories a 21st century voice, underlining that the morals of these tales are as relevant today as they were hundreds of years ago.”
Mel Doel, Chairman of the National Park Authority said;
“This beautiful book, published in partnership with the National Park Authority and Graffeg features some of the National Park’s best and magical tales which were really brought to life by Horatio at the Hay Festival. The idea, which came from Carol Williams, National Park Authority Tourism Growth Officer was a brilliant one and I thank everyone who has contributed to it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and can personally recommend it as a must read. The 10 legends are drawn from all four corners of the Park so everyone can find a tale nearby to explore. We think our communities and our visitors will love having the opportunity to dive into a new way of looking at the National Park through the eyes of the tellers of the wonderful tales.”
‘Myths & Legends of the Brecon Beacons’, can currently be purchase online at www.beacons-npa.gov.uk/shop , at the National Park Visitor Centre near Libanus, Abergavenny TIC, Llandovery TIC as well as other local and independent booksellers.