Alle Schwäne der Königin: Eine Wanderung durch England, Schottland, Wales

Name of traveller

Pieter Vervoort (b. 1899)

Reason for travel

  • leisurely travel; holidaying

Date of travel

undated, ca. late 1940s to early 1950s

Llangollen war festlich geschmückt, alle Straßen bekränzt und die Häuser beflaggt mit allen Fahnen und Farben der Länder Europas. Es galt der internationalen Eisteddfod, einem rauschenden Fest der Lieder und Tänze, der Trachtengruppen aus allen Ländern. (Vervoort 204)


  • architecture: many castle ruins all over the country
  • customs:
    • importance of imagination, poetry, harp music and song for Welsh folk culture
    • impressed by the cheerful atmosphere at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod; eastern European countries represented by groups of emigrants
    • is underwhelmed by the pageantry displayed in the National Eisteddfod
    • is overwhelmed by an open-air singing competition between young farmers to win a scholarship for university in Aberystwyth
    • frequently visits a pub outside Llangollen to enjoy farmers singing in company
  • history:
    • romanticised and colourful descriptions of ancient Welsh warriors fighting in the uplands against foreign invaders
    • relates the birth of Edward II (1284-1327) in Caernarfon Castle as a trick played on the Welsh by the ruling English king
    • brief reference to Owain Glynd?r (1355-1416) at Machynlleth
  • industry: coal tips disfigure an otherwise pleasant landscape
  • language:
    • Welsh language described as melodious
    • some stereotypes in relation to Welsh place names, their length and the difficulty of pronouncing them correctly
  • literature:
    • reference to Arthurian legends and Bardic tradition
    • points out that many English poets have written about Wales, such as Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) or John Ruskin (1819-1900)
  • people:
    • reads curious tombstone inscription that identifies Nicholas Hookes from Conway as his father's 41st child and having himself fathered 27 offspring
    • reference to the Ladies of Llangollen, Eleanor Charlotte Butler (1739-1829) and Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1831) and their famous visitors, such as Walter Scott (1771-1832) and Mme de Genlis (1746-1830)
    • character sketch of his Llangollen hosts, Thomas and his Italian wife Margaret, who keep a pet cockerel in their house
  • terrain: country above all characterised by mountains, woods, rough coastlines and meadows

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Type of publication



Vervoort, Pieter. Alle Schwäne der Königin: Eine Wanderung durch England, Schottland, Wales. München: Ehrenwirth Verlag, 1953. 200-7. Print.