This autobiography recounts the experiences of a Welshman who has become widely known as a historian writing prolifically in English and Welsh, a lecturer, teacher and broadcaster, and an active public figure. He is endowed with a lively sense of humour that frequently breaks the surface - often at his own expense! He hails from the industrial township of Dowlais, sited in north Glamorgan, on the very edge of the appealing hill and farming country of Breconshire. He was born in 1920, the only child of working-class parents, and he writes movingly of his childhood and youth spent amid a warm-hearted, closely-knit community which suffered the full force of economic blight. Following a typical Welsh education at Cyfarthfa and Aberystwyth, he later spent nearly forty years as a University teacher in Swansea, twenty-five of them as professor of History. His Scholarship has been recognised by the award of the Fellowship of the British Academy, and has a knighthood for 'services to the history, culture and heritage of Wales.'
He has combined this with an active public career, in the course of which he has been chairman and member of a diverse and numerous range of bodies, including the Broadcasting Council for Wales, the British Library Board, the Board of Celtic Studies, the Pantyfedwen Trusts and CADW. He brings a historian's eye to the work of these organisations and sketches vivid thumbnail portraits of their leading figures.
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'This autobiography gives a fascinating insight into the motivation of an individual, the interplay of personalities, the politics of institutions - and the accidents of fate - during the course of a truely remarkable career... This is a book which will fascinate and inspire.' (Archaeologia Cambrensis, Vol 150)