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DAVIES, Jonathan Ceredig.

Life, Travels and Reminiscences of Jonathan Ceredig Davies.

Author of "Folk lore of West and Mid. Wales," and many other works.

Llanddewi Brefi, Privately Printed, 1927 Stock Code: 93335


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One of 70 copies only printed by the author at his own printing-press for private circulation. This copy is inscribed "yours sincerely, J. Ceredig Davies" on the frontispiece, and was sent to Davies's cousin the Hon. Dan W. Williams, who is mentioned (though misnamed, as Williams comments in the margin) on page 5 as part of the global diaspora of Davies's Welsh family. Davies was an observant traveller, and here he gives an interesting and well-written account of his lifetime of travels, beginning with a voyage to Patagonia in 1875 as a boy of 16, attracted by the Welsh colony established in the Chubut Valley in 1865, and also to Australia.
Begun during the Great War, it took him the better part of a decade to print, as "his press was only a toy" (according to the letter to the book's recipient from Mrs D. D. Evans, a mutual cousin). The printing is accordingly unsophisticated but charminghe ran out of sheets and so 9 pages are supplied in ink manuscript, with occasional corrections and passages added in manuscript.
Largely self-taught, Davies's most important work was Folk Lore of West and Mid-Wales (1911); he also wrote Western Australia: Its History and Progress (1902), Adventures in the Land of Giants: a Patagonian Tale (1892), and Patagonia: A Description of the Country and Manner of Living at Chubut Colony (1892). His final workalso privately printedwas Welsh and Oriental Languages (1927), a 44 page offprint taken from the present text. Somewhat eccentric, at the time of sending the book he was 70 years old, living hermit-like in Mill Street "quite dirty and poor" (D. D Evans's letter).
The press review mounted at the rear states: "It is difficult to classify Jonathan Ceredig Davies He is certainly an interesting psychological study, for there is no one like him on this side of the Unknown" (Western Mail).
Laid-in are three autograph letters: one from the author to the recipient; another from a mutual relation of the author and cousin; and another from a further relation of the cousin. Williams has summarised the letters in manuscript to the front pastedown. The author writes that he sent Williams "the only copy I could spare The only other copy of my book is to be found in the Congress Library."
An excellent and highly personal copy of this rare and interesting account. Copac lists six copies (three in Wales and none outside the United Kingdom), and OCLC adds one copy at the University of Toronto. The book is notably unrepresented in Australia itself, where much of the action takes place.

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Octavo. Original red cloth, spine lettered in gilt, edges sprinkled red. With 9 pages of text in manuscript, and other manuscript notes and corrections to plates and text. The parcel post wrapper is tipped-in to the front free endpaper, press reviews of the book mounted to the rear blank and rear free endpaper, and customs form and 3 autograph letters are loosely inserted.


Portrait frontispiece, 16 plates and illustrations in text.


Boards a little soiled, spine and front board faded, lower tips bumped, lower fore edge dented. A good copy.


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