hidden europe 23

In her element

by Nicky Gardner


There has been a paucity of women writers celebrating the Welsh landscape. For too long the narrative has been dominated by English writers - mainly men! A new book restores the balance.

A new book published by Honno Press ("In Her Element" edited by Jane MacNamee) inspires hidden europe editor Nicky Gardner to reflect on wild Wales.

Slow, slow fell the first of the winter snow, thick mushy November flakes that within a few hours draped the whole valley. Talyllyn colliding with winter. A heavy blanket of cloud hung over Cadair. In the early afternoon, I strode off through the slush and climbed up towards the lake that nestles in a perfect round bowl beneath Cadair's great summit. Parsley fern, grey shale and lots of damp snow. I have always been entranced by the landscapes of Wales, and wrote with feeling about the country in the November 2007 issue of hidden europe. ‘The Road to Abergwesyn' is the only really autobiographical essay that we have ever published in the magazine.

Wales is something special. Early travellers from England - mostly men - braved awful roads and a paucity of accommodation to make long journeys through the Principality. From Daniel Defoe, who found the place too full of rocks and mountains, to Lord Tennyson who despaired at the great sheets of driving rain that drenched Cadair Idris.

This is just an excerpt. The full text of this article is not yet available to members with online access to hidden europe. Of course you can read the full article in the print edition of hidden europe 23.
Related note

Lamb soup galore

Lamb soup is a staple in some parts of Europe, but utterly unknown elsewhere. In Iceland, lamb soup has the status of a national dish. That lamb soup was once judged to be the perfect remedy for dysentery was new to us.