Planet excerpts

A selection of our reviews from Planet 223

More excerpts from Planet 223  

Black Apples of Gower by Iain Sinclair | Little Toller Books £15.00

If there’s anyone who has brought psychogeography down from its earlier life in the stratospheric reaches of the avant garde, then it’s Iain Sinclair. Sinclair has turned Debord’s dérive from an ambient urban amble into a whole metropolitan reimagining complete with invented maps, unknown histories and startling outsiders. Beginning with a tracking of the lines of power running across London in Lights Out For The Territory Sinclair has gone on to circumnavigate the M25 in London Orbital, encircle the ginger line in London Overground, disembowel his home turf in Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire, and to follow John Clare across the wastes of Essex in Edge of the Orison. Now he has turned his attention to somewhere nearer his birthplace with a walk across rural Gower...


Queer Wales edited by Huw Osborne | UWP, £39.99

Pick up any book on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) history and you’ll rarely find Wales even mentioned. Yet for a history which has for the most part been legally forbidden and socially unacceptable, there is a huge amount of books. Search for ‘gay history’ books on Amazon and you’ll get over 19,000 results. But our history has long been subsumed into the wider meme of ‘for Wales see England’, which is particularly frustrating when you consider the huge contributions people from Wales have made to LGBT history. It is therefore refreshing to see a book dedicated entirely to Queer Wales.


The Tradition by Peter Lord | Gomer, £30.00

his is a remarkable and important book. One would expect no less from Peter Lord who has devoted his career to advocating the visual culture of Wales. In presenting a history of Welsh art in one accessible volume, the author has succeeded both from an academic standpoint and from the point of view of the general reader. This is a thought-provoking book and its content both verbal and visual is given the high design and production values that it merits. In short, it is a book that will stand the test of time.

The Tradition begins with a consideration of 15th-century art, and this is given telling political context by the fact that at the beginning of that century Wales was still engaged in rebellion against the English crown, a situation that was only resolved towards the end of the century with the accession of the Welsh Henry Tudor to the English throne. A beautifully reproduced full-page image of stained glass from the church of St Cadwaladr in Llangadwaladr in Anglesey, gives some idea of the quality of Welsh work in the late 15th century.

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