People, Places & … Things

Hanes/History Iaith/Language

What’s in a name?

Throughout all of my novels, I have included a “Glossarry of Welsh Words” that includes one of the above items in the title – things.

In this post, I will be starting at the beginning novel of my adventure in writing stories that take place in my second, and equally beloved, country, Cymru/Wales.

Although I had several manuscriptions that began my writing career, I chose Traitor’s Daughter to be my first published novel which met with the approval of an agent’s reader and earned me professional status in Romance Writers of America.

Although the agent subsequently declined to represent Traitor’s Daughter, I had sufficient confidence in the story to venture self-publishing this novel and all the other novels in the two series: the five novels in Pendyffryn: The Conquerors and Pendyffryn: The Inheritors, three books of which have been published with another three to follow.

The Glossary included in Traitor’s Daughter is brief in comparison to those in the Pendyffryn series. Missing from all of the glossaries in the nine published novels are details such as meaning and pronunciation of characters’ names and the places in which they reside.

The main characters of Traitor’s Daughter are Heledd Bannawg and Garmon Dolwyddlan.

Heledd Bannawg (HEHL-ehð BAHN-nahwg) form of Helen, form of John; Sister of Cynddylan ap Cyndrwyn, prince in Powys in 7thC, commemorated in poems written in the 9thC, Heledd Islands = Hebrides

Ieuan Bannawg (YAY-ahn BAHN-nahwg) form of John, high/peak, famous; Heledd’s father murdered by his brother, Llew

Garmon (GAHR-mohn) Latin ‘Germanus’; the saint who came to Britain in the 5thC to defend the Roman invaders

Dolwyddlan (dol-WIHÐ-lahn) Wild meadowland

Urien Macsen (Yuhr-EE-ehn MAHC-sehn) Twin-born, Latin ‘Maximus’; Heledd’s supporter, a warrior in Llew’s army

Principal opponents:

Alys Llew (EH-lis LLOHW) form of Alice, lion; Heledd’s cousin

Llew Talgarth (LLOHW TAHL-gahrth) Lion, high enclosure; Heledd’s uncle and Alys’s father

Meilor Gwesyn (MAY-lohr GWEH-sin) form of ‘Meilyr’ one of the earliest poets of the Welsh princes, a river in Powys; the chieftan of the estate in which Heledd was born

And this is just the beginning of explanations and histories of names in my novels as well as those that have historical significance.

Leave a Reply