Jul 14, 2008

The People’s Story – Welsh History through the eyes of the Workers





My People’s Pilgrimage is the fascinating record of a Welsh family, traced from the 19th century to the present day. The story is a microcosm of the dramatic transformation of society which occurred throughout Wales, as seen through the eyes of Diana Williams and her ancestors. The family experienced both the rural poverty and hardships of the pre-industrial agricultural labourer, and the harsh conditions of the iron and coal industries, in their struggle to survive.


The author gives a revealing account of Welsh social history, progressing from a life of few possessions and material comforts, to a time when life is unimaginable without cars, televisions, computers, mobile phones, fridges and freezers, washing-machines, central heating, instant hot water and flush toilets.


However, Williams contends that our present-day consumer society often leads to restlessness and does not bring lasting happiness. We live in an increasingly secularised society but there is a great yearning for spirituality. She believes we should learn from our ancestors by recognising and respecting their struggles, values and principles – and salvage some of their strengths, thus enriching our own lives.


My People’s Pilgrimage is a personal account based on fact, memory, intuition and imagination. Here we see brave, extraordinary people – family members unimportant in the eyes of the world – but made larger than life through the author’s revealing portraits.


Diana Gruffydd Williams was born in Aberdare in 1944 but brought up in Essex. She went to Trinity College, Carmarthen where she trained to be teacher. Several of her short stories have been published and two were broadcast on Radio 4’s ‘Morning Story’. She retired early from teaching because of ill-health but now works on a voluntary basis as a Counsellor and Spiritual Director.


My People’s Pilgrimage was launched by Y Lolfa at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff

Publication Date 7.16.18


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