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PN Review 276
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This report is taken from PN Review 276, Volume 50 Number 4, March - April 2024.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
As I have probably mentioned before, whenever I’ve felt sufficiently in funds I have bought antiquarian and private press books, persuading myself that, if the need ever arose, I could sell them again at a handsome profit. This is a spurious argument but I am always persuaded by it. Private press books are, or should be, objects of the printer’s and illustrator’s art, and the best are eminently readable into the bargain. A recent addition to my small collection is The Autobiography of Edward Lord Herbert of Cherbury, an impressively large Gregynog folio. Reading it and reading around it has been exhilarating.

The Herberts stem from William ap Thomas, a member of the Welsh gentry, subsequently knighted, who by marriage acquired wealth, prestige and eventually a grand property, Llansantffraed Court, between Abergavenny and Raglan. His second wife was Gwladys Ddu, the daughter of Dafydd Gam, the Davy Gam of Henry V, and it is quite possible that as a young man he too fought at Agincourt. He died in 1445 and you will find him in full armour lying beside his wife on the impressive tomb they share in the Priory Church of St Mary, Abergavenny. The Herbert name was adopted when William ap Thomas, who had fought on the side of Edward IV in the Wars of the Roses, was granted the title Baron Herbert of Raglan. His son, also Sir William, dropped the Welsh patronymic. The Herberts were then firmly established as a prominent if not the pre-eminent mid-Wales family early in the sixteenth century and, in the usual way by ...

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