Horatio Clare re-tells ten myths and legends of Wales’ famous Brecon Beacons, including Arthur and his Slumbering Knights, the White Lady of Tretower Court and the gory tale of Black Vaughan. These brilliantly written short stories bring to life the extensive history and supernatural mystery that resides in these beautiful hills. Each story is illustrated by Jane Matthews, including a simple map of the area covered.
Horatio’s first book, Running for the Hills, an acclaimed account of a Welsh childhood, won the Somerset Maugham Award and saw Horatio shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. His subsequent books include Truant, A Single Swallow, The Prince’s Pen and the best-selling travelogue, Down to the Sea in Ships, winner of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year. Horatio’s first book for children, Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, was listed for the Carnegie Medal and won the Branford Boase Award 2016. His essays and reviews appear regularly in the national press and on BBC radio.
Jane grew up in Bristol. She previously worked in the film and TV industry as a scenic artist and prop maker, before escaping to the remote Welsh Island of Skomer, where she monitored seals and published her first book, Skomer. She is now based in Shetland, working as an illustrator and exhibition manager. She illustrated her first children’s book in 2015, Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, also by Horatio Clare.
Click here to watch Horatio Clare talking to BBC Culture about why we need myths, how fake news is a new form of myth-making, and the power of storytelling, followed by a reading from The Wild Boar Chase.
‘Clare was a brilliant choice as author both because he grew up in the Black Mountains and because his sparse, compelling and, at times, brutal narrative is perfect for the book. To anyone living in the area, the stories will be familiar but Clare’s way of telling them is anything but. […] As befits a book commissioned by the Park Authority, each story is accompanied by a hand-drawn map, so that readers can visit the locations of their favourite stories. The maps […] perfectly capture the prose of the book; although I have never envisaged the Lady of Llyn y Fan Fach as wearing high heels and with such a short skirt. This is our past with a modern gloss, and it is wonderful!’ Mike Williams, Editor of Brycheiniog