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A Child's Christmas in Wales
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Group Reads > Dec. 2017 #6: "A Child's Christmas in Wales"

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1217 comments Mod
Our last December 2017 short fiction read! I'm opening the thread up early since we only have a few people reading the Goudge story, plus I don't want to be trying to remember to set up this thread on Christmas Eve. :)

This one is lovely and nostalgic and poetic. Here are a couple of links to online copies: or

I know I have an illustrated copy of this around the house somewhere that my mother gifted me a few years ago ...

message 2: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (last edited Dec 22, 2017 10:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1217 comments Mod
There's not really any plot to this story; it's a collection of Dylan Thomas' (I almost wrote Bob Dylan's, lol) memories from his childhood in the coastal town of Swansea, Wales, in the early 1900's, "before the motor-car, before the wheel, before the duchess-faced horse, when we rode the daft and happy hills bareback".

Read it slowly and just appreciate the beauty of his language and the images he evokes.

If you'd like to listen to Dylan Thomas reading his own story, here's a recording:

Lesley | 152 comments I have just listened to Dylan Thomas reading his story while also reading the gutenberg print story while breakfasting. Dylan Thomas reading his own story did so much more justice to his words than if I'd just read them.
Did I learn anything from his childhood memories of Christmas in Wales? Not really, but I'm not looking to be educated, just entertained. And that I was!
I see there is a film version based on this book starring Denham Elliot on Youtube too. Might have a look at that later today.

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1574 comments Mod
I was charmed by this - I read it at the Poem Hunter site & listened to the Thomas reading on You Tube.

message 5: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 639 comments Just had time for a listen—thanks for sending the link, Tadiana! It really took me back (my grandmother had a vinyl album of Dylan Thomas reading), especially the dogs baying excelsior. I’m surprised at how many lines I remembered. Really made me wish for Christmas.

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1217 comments Mod
I just finished reading it again - it really is lovely. And I think the picture book version I read before was abridged, so it was wonderful reading the whole thing.

I love how well Thomas could draw a portrait of a character with just a sentence or two. "Aunt Bessie, who had already been frightened, twice, by a clock-work mouse, whimpered at the sideboard and had some elderberry wine. The dog was sick. Auntie Dosie had to have three aspirins, but Auntie Hannah, who liked port, stood in the middle of the snowbound back yard, singing like a big-bosomed thrush."

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 1574 comments Mod
The quote I loved (& it is just so appropriate for Goodreads) is;

(view spoiler)

message 8: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 639 comments I loved Auntie Hannah, drinking her way through the festivities.

message 9: by Barb in Maryland (last edited Dec 24, 2017 08:58AM) (new)

Barb in Maryland | 477 comments Just so beautiful (and playful as well!). Oh! the language!! The 'fish-freezing waves' of the harbor, the postmen with their 'wind-cherried' noses, the 'bat-black, snow-white belfries' and so much more. Such richness!
I haven't had a chance yet to listen to the author's reading. I was certain I had heard Richard Burton reading it--he read almost everything else Dylan Thomas wrote!--but I can't find it on You Tube.

ETA: Just listened to the recording. What a voice. Absolutely wonderful.

message 10: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments I've read this several times over the years and positively adored the beautiful words. So why haven't I read anymore of him, I wonder?

message 11: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 639 comments Under Milk Wood is wonderful, too.

message 12: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1944 comments I've got to make a list. I'm thinking a Year of Poets (and beautiful word-masters) might be in order.

Cyndi King | 1 comments Wonderful poetic illustrations of a by-gone era. Received this used book in the mail as I was discovering my maternal grandfather's Welsh family (on Ancestry) going back to the early 1800s. Loved this little illustrated book. Thanks.

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