Cockatrice Books

New and Forthcoming

Since the start of 2015, Cockatrice has been publishing groundbreaking short stories from Wales and beyond, masterful novels, brilliant nonfiction and outstanding scholarship by the best of Welsh authors, original fiction by Rob Mimpriss, and fiction by A.L. Reynolds to come. The hell with your red dragon: it’s the cockatrice leads the way.

A Short History of Wales by O. M. Edwards

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O. M. Edwards was a writer and scholar, a leading educationalist, and, alongside J. E. Lloyd, a member of the Cymru Fydd movement, dedicated to achieving home rule for Wales. This brief book, outlining Welsh history from the Stone Age to the start of the 20th century, reflects O. M. Edwards’ hope for the rebirth of Wales as a modern, democratic nation, and is reissued by Cockatrice Books with additional material outlining the history of Wales from its first publication to the present day.

Published as part of the Wales in Europe series: celebrating the past and future of Wales as a European nation.

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Father and Son by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

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Arne Kampen, restless and sullen, has reached manhood as though under a curse. His mother, possessive and pious, has made him promise never to leave the farm, and his father is a drunkard, brawler, cripple and lover, despised and feared throughout the valley, who has brutalised them both. On a nearby farm lives Eli Böen, as joyful and elusive as the Faye, the daughter of the woman his father loved and of the rival whose blow left him lame. Written with the unerring clarity of a Scandinavian saga and the kindly wisdom of a folk tale, this novel explores the struggle between fate and redemption, the longing for freedom and the need for bonds.

Published as part of the Cymru’r Byd series: celebrating the literature of Wales and the world.

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Welsh Folklore by Elias Owen

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First chosen as winner of the National Eisteddfod in 1887, and subsequently revised for publication in 1896, Elias Owen’s study of Welsh folklore is a rich amalgam of scholarship and personal recollection. Concentrating on the northern districts of Wales, and with a wealth tales and traditions concerning fairies, ghosts, devils, changelings, birds, beasts, spells, charms and cures, this is both an ideal companion to Wirt Sikes’s British Goblins or T. Gwynn Jones’s Welsh Folklore and Folk Custom, also published by Cockatrice, and a fascinating and accessible introduction to the folk tales and folklore of Wales.

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The Scarlet Flower by Vsevolod Garshin

Translated by E. L. Voynich and Rowland Smith

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A young writer lies wounded, hungry and dying of thirst, by the body of the Turkish soldier he has killed. A volunteer and private on the long march to Bulgaria assaults the officer who thought of him as an equal and a friend. A prostitute scorns the marriage that could save her life, preferring death to shame, and a patient in a lunatic asylum begins a solitary battle against the flower which is the source of all evil and suffering in the world. Combining the social awareness of Orwell or Gorky with the artistry of Turgenev, these stories demonstrate the work of a writer uniquely attuned to the sufferings of his people and the imperatives of his art.

‘Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoi, Dostoevsky... None of our great masters created, at Garshin’s age, anything better than his work, and none can stand as so true and painfully effective a representative of the spirit of our troubled time.’

S. Stepniak

Published as part of the Cymru’r Byd series: celebrating the literature of Wales and the world.

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British Goblins by Wirt Sikes

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Wirt Sikes was a journalist, poet, diplomat, and a pioneer in the study of the folklore and folk customs of Wales. In this extraordinary book, he presents an array of fairies, giants, ghosts, monsters, devils, changelings, calendar customs, rites of passage and songs — all with the freshness of an American immersed in the rich and fascinating culture of Wales.

‘Through the aid of modern scientific research, those ages which the myths of centuries have peopled with heroic shadows are brought nearer to us, and the tylwyth teg reach back and shake hands with the Olympian gods.’ Wirt Sikes

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Early Welsh Histories: Gildas and Nennius

Translated by J. A. Giles

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Written in the sixth century, vividly describing the harrowing of the Celtic kingdoms of Britain by the Anglo-Saxon invaders, Gildas’s Destruction of Britain is both a lament for Roman civilisation and a blistering polemic against the impieties of the British kings. Written three centuries later, Nennius’s History of Britain presents a picture of the mythical king Vortigern, the prophet Ambrosius, and the conflict between the red dragon and the white that inspired Geoffrey of Monmouth, and resounds in Welsh popular culture to this day. Between them, they represent a society in extremis, and a passionate defence of the nationhood of Wales.

Published as part of the Wales in Europe series: celebrating the past and future of Wales as a European nation.

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Owain Glyndŵr by J. E. Lloyd

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0n 16th September 1400, Owain Glyndŵr, esquire, lawyer, land-owner, and descendant of the rulers of Wales, proclaimed himself Prince of Wales, thus beginning a period of effective independence and allegiance with France which lasted for more than ten years. This ground-breaking study by J. E. Lloyd, first published in 1930, considers his importance as guerrilla tactician, statesman and diplomat: the ‘father of Welsh nationalism’ who inspires Welsh thinkers and nation-builders to this day.

Published as part of the Wales in Europe series: celebrating the past and future of Wales as a European nation.

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His Happiness by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

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The peasant son of a village peasant sets his heart on marrying the daughter of a local land-owner. A young lad aspires to scale the crags above his valley to the place where the eagles nest, and four short encounters between a father and the parish priest sketch the story of a young man’s life.

With a timeless simplicity that recalls the work of Margiad Evans or Caradoc Evans, and with a love of the Norwegian land and people, these three stories represent the work of one of the forgotten masters of European literature.

Published as part of the Cymru’r Byd series: celebrating the literature of Wales and the world.

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