Saturday, February 25, 2023

Book from the Renaissance Festival: "Hill Walking in Snowdonia"

Ashar and I spent the day at the Arizona Renaissance Festival in Gold Canyon (about 35 minutes from our house) on February 19. The festival is held for two months each winter and it's huge. We did a lot of walking that afternoon to check out the demonstrations, food, shops, animals, jewelry, artists and more. There was live jousting, a museum of medieval torture (egad!), a show featuring birds of prey and a vendor selling scrumptious European chimney cakes (Kürtőskalács). I would guess we only saw about 20% of everything on the grounds. And we definitely got lost at one point and had no choice but to retrace our steps to the entrance.

One of the things that was most interesting to me is that there was a full-blown bookstore on the premises! It had four rooms and wide variety of new and used books focusing on medieval history, English history, magic & mysticism, various religions, Shakespeare, royalty, costume-making, craft-making and much more. Several frightful books piqued Ashar's interest, possibly because we had just come out of the museum of torture.

I was "good," mostly because I didn't want to haul heavy books around the rest of the afternoon (the car was parked a mile away). So the only thing I bought was a lightweight booklet for $2. And so that will be today's book to examine here.

  • Title: Hill Walking in Snowdonia
  • Subtitle: "Routes up fifty 2000 foot peaks in the Snowdonia National Park"
  • Where's Snowdonia? It's a mountain region containing a national park in northern Wales.
  • Author: E.G. Rowland (Edward George Rowland, 1879-1958, though I found just one source on the year of birth)
  • Photographer: W.A. Poucher (William Arthur Poucher, 1891–1988)
  • Publication history: The book was first published in 1951. It was then fully revised in 1958. This is the 1972 reprint edition by Vector Publications.
  • Cover price: 25 pence
  • Dimensions: 4¾ inches by 7⅛ inches
  • Binding: Staplebound 
  • Pages: 80
  • Dedication: "Dedicated to the youth of Britain"
  • Title page note: "Indication of a route in this book does not imply a right of way"
  • Provenance: Written in cursive on the title page is "Barbara Be---- Wales 1973." I can't decipher Barbara's last name after the "Be."
  • Excerpt from back cover: "While the main object of this book is to encourage beginners to come to the hills for a sport that will give them lifelong pleasure, more practised walkers will find new routes to interest them. It is not a rock climbing manual — the average holidaymaker with a clear head and reasonably strong leg muscles should have no trouble on any of the walks."
  • Some of the 53 mountains in Snowdonia with distinct peaks of 2,000 feet or higher (as spelled in the book): Snowdon, Crib y Ddysgl, Carnedd Llywelyn, Carnedd Dafydd, Penyrolewen, Foel Grach, Elidir Fawr, Moel Siabod, Pen Llithrig-y-wrach, Drum, Yr Aran, Garnedd Goch, Cnicht, Tal y Fan.
  • Excerpt #1: "Snowdonia, a name with some warrant from antiquity, covers some three hundred square miles of mainly mountainous country, centred on Snowdon itself."
  • Excerpt #2: "The big moorland rising up from Pen-y-Gwyryd to Siabod is not very inviting, but it gives a pleasant stroll on a clear evening."
  • Excerpt #3: "All hill walkers who take more than a very casual interest in the sport should pay the modest membership fees necessary to join one or more of the following Associations. This will keep you in touch with those that share your enthusiasm and you will receive much useful guidance. Even if you prefer to ramble in solitude, you should support movements that do much to preserve the countryside from threatened spoilation and provide facilities for those of moderate means."
  • List of Associations: The Rambler's Association, The Camping Club, The Youth Hostels' Association, The Holiday Fellowship, The Central Council of Physical Recreation, The National Trust, The Council for the Preservation of Rural Wales. 

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