New book by Will Cross – Evan, Lord Tredegar, Final Affairs

“Evan, Lord Tredegar: Final Affairs

The Aftermath: The Welsh Peer Poet

& Pleasure Seeker” : By William Cross

ISBN 9781905914326

£8.00 inc p&p. UK only. Direct from the

Author or on Amazon. Limited copies

Available until end of July 2017 only

The  Highlights of the book

12- page Introduction “ The Rise and Fall of the Morgans

of  Tredegar House”

40- pages of correspondence from  National Archives

records on the proposed sale of the Tredegar  Estates,

including attempts to have the National Trust take over

the property in c1950

The Newport  District Valuers’ Report of the state of

Tredegar  House in 1950 with details of all rooms, grounds,

& history

 

The complete 12 page Catalogue for the sale of Honeywood

House, Rowhook, Dorking the last home of Evan Morgan

and his mother, Katharine, Viscountess Tredegar

 

Photographs from Honeywood House, including the prized

Chinese panels owned by Evan Morgan

 

A short tribute to Katharine, Viscountess Tredegar

 

6 -page narrative (with unique photographs ) of House parties

and guests at Tredegar House in the 1930s

 

Contact / Enquiries William Cross  williecross@aol.com

Day Trip to Charlecote Park Warwick

DAY TRIP TUESDAY 13TH JUNE 2017

Our summer day trip this year is  to  Charlecote Park, Wellesbourne, Warwick. Charlecote Park has been the home of the Lucy family since the 13th century.   It is  a magnificent  Tudor  mansion  beside  the River Avon, on  the  foundations of  an  even earlier medieval house.

Queen Elizabeth I is known to have visited the house, and stayed in the chamber that now serves as the drawing room.

The Lucy family came to England as supporters of William the Conqueror, and the family has owned’land at Charlecote since 1247. Sir Thomas Lucy (1532-1600), the builder of the current house, was a magistrate under Elizabeth 1. In the course of his duties he was responsible for prosecuting local families with Catholic sympathies, including the Arden family, William Shakespeare’s maternal grandparents.

Tradition says that William Shakespeare was once caught poaching deer on the Charlecote Estate. This tale may well be true, as the estate lies close to Shakespeare’s family home at Stratford. The story goes that Shakespeare was forced to flee the area to avoid prosecution by Sir Thomas. The young playwright escaped to London and the rest, as they say, is history.

Eating and shopping: The Orangery serves a range of meals and light snacks. The Servants Hall gift shop and Pantry  shop  sell a range  of specific and  locally sourced produce.   Picnics welcome.

We will be leaving Tredegar House Car Park at 9.15am prompt. Arriving At Charlecote Park approximately 11.30am.

ADMISSION  PRICES –

  1. House and Garden including coach……………………………………..£24.60 each
  1. Coach only for National Trust members……………………………….£14.60 each

BOOK EARLY SO AS NOT TO BE DISAPPOINTED.

BALANCE REQUIRED NO LATER THAN_ 6 WEEKS PRIOR TO TRIP

3RD  MAY 2017.

Contact Judith Rice:

judith.rice@friends-of-tredegar-house.co.uk

Cyril Highman (1922 – 2016) Founder Member of Friends of Tredegar House

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Cyril Highman(1922 – 2016) – an   appreciation.

Cyril Highman, who died on 4th December 2016 after a long life well lived, was one of the founding committee members of the Friends of Tredegar House. He was a man of integrity, humour and kindness – and my uncle.

He began life in Tredegar and the family moved to Newport in 1932. Cyril attended Newport High School and at the age of 15 sat the  entrance exams for the Civil Service – something that his father decided would be a good career for him. It meant moving to London to take up employment in the Home Office. He would often talk about the fact that his father had decided his career. He had no complaints about that, saying that of course in those days a steady job, with a good retirement pension, was the dream of   many.

With the outbreak of the second world war, Cyril was keen to join up   and applied to the RAF to work as a radio mechanic. He was eventually released from his reserved occupation work at the Home Office in 1942. Most of his time in the RAF was spent at various stations in the UK working with radar, but his unit was sent to Germany at the end of the war. He was there for some months and the sights he saw made a very deep impression. He had loved German lessons while at school thanks to the teaching of Mr. Dawson and had had a German landlady  at the start of his working life in London.

On his return to the UK he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was sent to the sanatorium at Cefn Mabley, where he spent 18 months and where he met his wife (also a patient), my father´s sister Betty, who was a Newport  girl.

 

September 24th 1949 Malpas Church

Fortunately, Betty and Cyril both recovered and they were married in 1949 at St. Marys Church Malpas, Newport.

Much of their married life was spent in Walton-­‐on-­‐Thames to accommodate Cyril working in London, but the pull of returning to Newport was too strong to resist when a job possibility arose for him. On his return to Wales, Cyril became involved in various societies. He was the secretary of the Newport Civic Society for many years and   both he and Betty were keenly involved in the Friends of Tredegar House from the very beginning of the Society. He was meticulous in keeping records for the Friends and was secretary for a number of years. He had always enjoyed learning about local history and put this interest to very good use with these societies. He was also one of the first supporters of the Ruperra Conservation Trust.

His fascination with technology – radar, hi-­‐fi equipment (building his own speakers at an early age) -­‐   also meant that he  was very  interested in computers. I remember that when he bought his first one he asked someone to come and tell him about the workings – and he meant  the  technical  workings  rather  than  how  to  operate  the machine! It was a wonderful form of communication for him in later years and he used to keep the family up to date with each other by passing on various emails we had written to   him.

We are fortunate that he decided to write his memoirs, (dealing with the years from 1922 – 1949)which make fascinating reading and are even more impressive as they were written when he was in his eighties without recourse to diaries or journals, which he never kept. He loved cycling, regarding it as one of the best forms of transport,   and his longest trip was from Barnes to South Wales over a period of two days in 1940. Music was another love, especially popular songs from the famous Big Band era of the 1940s.  He was a fine pianist himself. Cyril also enjoyed listening to Welsh hymn singing, no doubt due to his Methodist  background!

One of the letters of condolence after his death described him as a man with an ”historic memory, and a precise, properly concerned constitutionalist who would have made an excellent local government official”. In a way Cyril could be said to have taken on some of that  work in a voluntary fashion. Two examples are his involvement with   the Blue Plaques scheme for the Newport Civic Society and the fact     that he never feared to write to the South Wales Argus if he felt a point needed making.

His mental ability, kindness and humour were with him to the end. We will miss him!

Helen Davies

Many thanks to Helen for providing this lovely account of her uncle Cyril for Friends of Tredegar House

CPL Highman in Gatlow JUly 1946

Cpl. Highman in Gatlow July 1946

 

Burglary at Lady Katherine Morgan’s London Home

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A nurse employed by Viscountess Tredegar i(Lady Katharine Morgan) Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, stated at Marlborough Street yesterday that while she was sitting in the drawing room at 4.30 a.m. a man walked in. She gave him tea and talked to him until the police arrived. William David McCoy, 22, house porter, no fixed address, was committed for trial accused of burglary breaking and entering promises and stealing property worth £25.

The nurse, Miss Annie Fraser, said that McCoy put his head around the door and walked into the room. She got up and he said ‘I have broken into your house.’

‘I asked him what he wanted’ said Miss Fraser. ‘He said ‘I have been out all morning looking for a job, and I am so desperate and hungry. I want some food.’

‘I asked how he got in and he said ‘I got in through a window downstairs beside the kitchen. I saw a light upstairs and came to see who was there.’

‘I invited him in to have some tea. He said he would like some food as he was hungry. He smoked a cigarette. I went to the parlour-maid’s room and told her what had happened and asked her to inform the police. I came back to the drawing room and gave the man tea. We sat and talked a bit, and then the police arrived.’

Miss Fraser said that she noticed later that a silver box, a wireless set and a clock had been removed. These articles were worth £25. Drawers in the dining-room had been opened and their contents disarranged.

Police Constable Hickmott stated that McCoy said to him ‘I could have got away if I liked.’

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New Book – Further Letters and Prose Pieces with Anecdotes about Evan by ~Will Cross

 

 

Mann, Cathleen; Evan Frederick Morgan (1893-1949), 2nd Viscount Tredegar (2nd Creation); National Trust, Tredegar House; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/evan-frederick-morgan-18931949-2nd-viscount-tredegar-2nd-creation-156489

NEW BOOK

by

Will Cross and Hon. Evan Frederick Morgan

Synopsis of the book.

Evan, Lord Tredegar  Further Letters and Prose Pieces with Anecdotes about Evan

This second literary compilation from Evan Morgan’s biographer William
Cross offers more interesting letters and several curious prose pieces
that adds weight to those already swept into the anthology “ Evan, Lord
Tredegar, Selected Letters, Prose and Quotations: The Mystic Muse of Evan
Frederic Morgan” ISBN 978-1905914-33-3, published in 2015.
Among the letters included are those to the Welsh artist Augustus John, to
The Archbishop of Cardiff, Francis Mostyn and to Marie Stopes who was
involved with Evan and others in the campaign to try to secure a pension
for Lord ‘ Bosie’ Douglas. Other nuggets include two odd-ball letters
featuring Evan from Aldous Huxley – his friend from the tragically
insecure days spent at Lady Ottoline Morrell’s Garsington Manor during
the Great War. Here too are the letters from Evan to Frances Stevenson,
David Lloyd George’s private secretary and mistress; Frances later dubbed
Evan “ a hopeless liar and thoroughly degenerate”. The new prose pieces
include Evan’s essay on “ Youth”, his personal views of what men and
women of the 1920s would have made the ideal Prime Minister’s inner
Cabinet, and a curiously vain piece about “ This Age of Vulgarity” as
well as an equally heady essay entitled “ I Believe in the Roman Catholic
Church”. Light relief is provided with a cache of anecdotes about Evan
some true, others that need to be treated with caution.
This very limited issue is a ‘must have’ title for Evan fanciers as well as
anyone studying the past, social history and eccentric personalities of
the era of the pre – WW2 world not only amongst the privileged classes.

 Copies available by post direct from author are £7.00 including p &p UK only. The book is also on AMAZON.  Limited Issue Signed by the Author.

ISBN 10 1-905914-38-5 ISBN 13 978-1-905914-38-8
Published by William P. Cross
Book Midden Publishing
58 Sutton Road Newport Gwent
NP19 7JF United Kingdom

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News from America

News from America from Monty Dart

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image002         It is always thrilling when we greet our American cousins at Tredegar House and we love to hear their connections with the Morgan family. Readers of the website will remember the acquisition of Godfrey’s cigar cutter that turned up from South Dakota – see that article here

http://www.friends-of-tredegar-co.uk/?s=cigar+cutter

An interesting email arrived from Janice Fix – ‘I’m trying to find out information for my aunt who has a document that is a lease of property from Lord Tredegar what she says looks like it’s on vellum.

She spoke with someone from the local library and said that these documents were a dime a dozen. She said the lease is for property at 4 Gainsborough Street, Mile End, not sure if that is correct or if it is supposed to be near Tredegar Square.

I can’t locate anything near Tredegar Square.  She would like to donate it but not sure who to contact.  She doesn’t remember where the document came from or even that she had it.  If you would be interested in the document, please let me know and she would be more than happy to forward it to you.’

Thank you. Janice Fix

What was this document doing in America? It is sad that this document was described as ‘a dime a dozen’, someone had seen fit to conserve it but why?

Carolyn Fix goes on to explain how it ended up in her possession

The document in question is a deed of sale for a property Godfrey Morgan, Lord Tredegar owned in London dated 5th August 1862.

We know that the Morgan family owned property and land all over London.

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             An example of the houses around Tredegar Square

 

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Carolyn Fix – Janice’s aunt

Carolyn is now coming up to 94 years of age and this is a photo of her in a WAC uniform as she was a WAC during WWII and is still active in meetings and luncheons for WAC Veterans. This is her story.

‘Sometime around the end of November, 1977, I went to the Estate sale of Cleveland Fisher in Manassas, Virginia.  I was interested in some books and bought a few in a box lot.  Since it has been some time, I believe the document was included in that lot from the estate sale.  We’re not sure how Mr. Fisher came to own it, but he was known to collect old things.’

INDENTURE

Lease 77 ¼ years to 1938 – 4 Gainsborough Road, Hamlet Mile End, Stepney, Tredegar Square to Widow Mrs. Sarah Broodbank

The document measures 26.5 X 22 inches on vellum (two pages).

‘I didn’t remember having the document until recently while looking for something.

My niece Janice Fix, of New Jersey, USA, looked up the names on the document and found that it was possibly related to the Morgans and Lord Tredegar and from there, she found Friends of Tredegar House and was in contact with Ms. Monty Dart.  We are happy and excited to have the document back where it belongs. We hope that the document is being enjoyed as part of the history of Lord Tredegar.’

Carolyn Fix of Vienna, VA, USA.

Looking at the area now it is filled with £1,50000 houses and there is even a public house named ‘Lord Tredegar’ though Gainsborough Road has since disappeared.

pub

 

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‘Portrait of Lord Tredegar on an inn sign in Lichfield Road. Lord Tredegar, formerly Sir Charles Morgan of Tredegar, owned an area of land in the area. Between 1820 and 1832 buildings of a superior class were erected around what is now Tredegar Square. They still stand out from much of the surrounding housing. Lord Tredegar has a pub, a square and a street named after him, for there is also a Morgan Street nearby.’ From www.exploringeastlondon.co.uk

But what of Mr Cleveland Fisher – what connection if anything did he have to the Tredegar Estate?

The 1930’s USA census shows Cleveland Fisher lived with his parents in a house worth $3500 – check this site for values. https://www.measuringworth.com

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1930 Census – USA

He was born September 22nd, 1918. November, 1977 and passed away in Manassas, Virginia at the age of 59.

What was his connection if any to the Morgan family and Godfrey in particular? I’m still checking American newspapers and articles so watch this space.

Monty Dart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO ‘SHRINKING VIOLET’ By Monty Dart

 

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No ‘Shrinking Violet’ by Monty Dart

The Hon. Violet Wilhelmina Morgan was born on 23rd September 1860 at Ruperra Castle. She was the daughter of Hon. Frederic Courtenay Morgan and Williamson. From a young age she became a keen horsewoman, in fact she followed the male Morgans in their love Charlotte of outdoor pursuits, hunting and shooting. In the portrait by John Charlton at Tredegar House, she can be seen on horseback, sitting behind her father Frederic – with a view of Ruperra Castle in the background. (Click here for painting at Tredegar House) She produced a book of hunting sketches in 1890 a copy of which is in Newport Reference Library (see link at the end of this article). On 28th August 1894 Violet married her first cousin once removed, Basil St John Mundy, at St James Church, Piccadilly, London. The wedding was described in the Cardiff Times – ‘the bride wore a wedding gown of the richest white duchesse satin, trimmed with antique Brussels lace’ ‘The hymn ‘Near my God to thee’ conducted her, accompanied by her father, to the chancel rails. She looked handsome in a wedding gown of the richest white duchesse satin, artistically trimmed with antique Brussels lace, and full court train of the newest design. Her fine tulle veil covered a small wreath of orange blossoms intermingled with myrtle, her only ornament being a diamond and turquoise brooch, the gift of the bridesmaids and she carried a choice bridal bouquet of white blooms, the principal part being of white heather, specially grown and sent from Scotland for the occasion, tied with satin streamers en suite. There were only three bridesmaids (nieces of the bride) Miss Daisy Hoare, Miss Violet Hoare and Miss Rose Hoare daughters of Mr and Mrs C. Twysden Hoare of Bignell, Bicester* who wore gowns of white Indian muslin, with cream Valenciennes lace over green satin. They also wore hats to match, ornamented with wide lace brims and loops of green satin ribbon. The bridegrooms present to them, as a memento of the occasion was pearl and gold swallow safety-pin brooches and ‘nosegay’ of selected pale pink carnations tied with streamers.’

  • Violet, Daisy and Rose were the daughters of Blanche Frances Hoare (nee Morgan, daughter of Frederic Morgan and Charlotte Williamson)

Basil her bridegroom was a Major in the King’s Own 15th Regiment of Hussars.  In 1895 they were in Ireland with his regiment where their son, Frederick Charles was born on 8th March. He was to be their only child. In 1916 ‘Freddie’ was wounded. He was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry and devotion to duty, yet he returned to the seat of War, and was killed on 26th October 1917 and is buried at Duhallow, Ypres.

As Katharine Morgan, Lady Tredegar lived apart from her husband Courtenay for most of their married life, Violet as Courtenay Morgan’s sister often took the role of ‘Lady Tredegar’ at Morgan family gatherings and public occasions. Violet and Basil Mundy had a home in Thornbury, Gloucestershire, where she was to live for the rest of her life.  He died on 26th August 1926 as a result of injuries sustained in the Boer War. Violet was described in ‘Fifty Years of Racing at Chepstow’ by Pat Lucas). ‘Tall, usually dressed in black…she was as capable of putting a ferret down a rabbit burrow and handling a 12 bore gun as she was as following the hunt with nerve and skill which would put any hunting man to shame.’

This photo of Violet and Courtenay was taken at an annual ball at Tredegar House.

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Violet was greatly respected in Thornbury where she and her husband Basil are buried. The last time I visited there the grave was a mass of fragrant wallflowers. Nearby is the grave of her companion Mary Mallis, ‘In loving memory of Mary for 42 years – faithful servant and beloved friend of Violet Mundy. 1870 – 1931’ When Violet died on December 22nd 1943 she left generous bequests to Thornbury

‘The Hon Mrs. Violet Wilhelmina Mundy of Thornbury, Glos. Widow of Major B. St.J. Mundy, who died on December 22 aged 83, left £52, 876. She left after certain bequests the residue as to £6,000 for a recreation ground, park or pleasure ground for Thornbury: £500 to the church council of Thornbury. For repairing of the parish church: £100 to Almondsbury Hospital: and after the payment on the duties on these three bequests, the remainder to Bristol Dog’s Home, Bristol General Hospital, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol Eye Hospital, Muller’s Orphanage, Bristol and the Waifs and Strays Society.’

 

 

image006Violet Mundy on the white horse December 21st 1907 – with Captain Walter Lindsay on the left.

 

image007      The grave of Violet’s ‘beloved servant and friend – Mary Mallis’ who is buried in the Thornbury Cemetery’- ‘Brave, Unselfish and Loving’. A wonderful citation for a beloved member of the Mundy household. Mary Mallis followed Violet from her position at Ruperra Castle.

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Ruperra Castle

 

The grave of Violet and Basil at Thornbury

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Violet’s heritage at Thornbury – the Mundy Playing Fields.

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In researching this article, I came across a description of the Mundy’s.  http://www.thornburyroots.co.uk/families/mundy-violet/. Excellently sourced you can see a digital booklet of Violet’s Hunting Sketches and a Pathe News film of the tragic race in the Epsom Derby when her horse Avenger fell. Violet was described in the hunting world as ‘Hellcat’ Mundy – she did not suffer fools gladly. She was a product of her time, – she was feisty and fearless, so different from the latter day Morgans who abandoned the Morgan pursuits in the countryside for nightclubs and fast living.

 

Beatrice Mina Louise Coombs – Wife of John Evans Chauffeur at Tredegar House

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Article provided by Martyn Evans a family relative and member of Friends of Tredegar House

 Beatrice Mina Louise Coombs was born in Buckhorn Weston North Dorset 18th August 1892, one of six children to John and Elizabeth Coombs.John Coombs was born in1861. By the age of 20 in 1881 he was an agricultural labourer,he then went on to work for the council repairing roads with his 2 sons.

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In 1911 Beatrice was working as a housemaid – one of sixteen live-in staff, for the Earl & Countess of Melville & Leven in their London home and also at Kirtlington Park in Oxfordshire.

The Earl was only 24 – having lost his father in 1906.

Sadly, he was only to live another three years.
By co-incidence Frederick Morgan’s (of Ruperra Castle) great-grand-daughter and great grand-daughter live in Kirtlington.

Kirtlington Park near Oxford is now a prestige a wedding venue http://www.kirtlingtonpark.co.uk/

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Photo courtesy of Guy Collier Photography – http://guycollierphotography.com

In 1913 Beatrice came to Tredegar House as a housemaid. Maude Williams the Housekeeper was her cousin. Maude had previously worked for the Sturt family at their London home and at Crichel (Evan Morgan’s first wife was Lois Sturt) and no doubt encouraged her cousin to apply for the job.

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Crichel – where Lois Sturt was brought up. Have a look at her home in these wonderful Country Life photographs
http://www.countrylifeimages.co.uk/Search.aspx?s=crichel%20house

Beatrice met her future husband John Evans chauffer to both Courtenay Morgan and Evan Morgan. Look at the link on this website about the Servants and Estate Workers (under Tredegar House Topics) to read more of John (fondly known as Jack by the family) and his capture by Turk Rebels in 1916.

Link to article mentioned above.

http://www.friends-of-tredegar-house.co.uk/home/john-evans-chauffeur-to-lord-tredegar/

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Beatrice and John married in 1922 in Buckhorn Weston North Dorset in 1923 they had one son. They lived at Tredegar Park Cottages opposite Cleppa Park, an estate house that John’s parents & grandparents had lived in.
When John passed away in November 1965 Beatrice stayed in the house until the early 1970s, she then moved back to Buckhorn Weston to live with her sister. Beatrice passed away on 30th November 1976

Beatrice Mina Louise Coombs
What must have it been like for these young women to work in such grand houses when most of them had been brought up in humble surroundings?

 

Palleg Manor and The Morgans of Tredegar House

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Article submitted by Monty Dart

‘Palleg Manor’– 1215-1915’ is a thesis completed over the last four years by James Burton,  genealogist and antiquarian local to Aberdare. He says  ‘As a genealogist I have been chipping away at the old block for 14 years so I have gathered much experience in the  field. To study one’s forefathers is to know yourself  and what lies in your future. My initial interest in the  Palleg Manor came from the fact that my 7th generation  forefather, Richard Owen born 1762 happened to be listed as  a farmer on Penllwyn Teg farm, Ystradgynlais in the 1841  census (proven by extensive research over 10 years). It was  exciting to discover this, but I had no idea of the  importance of being head of a farm, or that it had a rich  history of being part of a feudal manor dating back eons. This revelation came by my delving into the vast and well  preserved estate records of the Landlord’s Tredegar in  Aberystwyth library. So much history I uncovered that I  decided I must extract it all for the use of future  generations and solve a puzzle that was questing me, how  long had my family been there and did this manor stretch  back to the Norman times and beyond?! The Morgan family of Tredegar House were the longest recorded and last owners of  the Manor see ‘Manor of Tredegar, Chief Tenants of  Palleg Manor, Ystradgynlais 1747 –  1915’.

The thesis and much more can be accessed on James Burton’s website

http://www.spookspring.com/Palleg/palleg.html

The Muses of Evan, Viscount Tredegar

Evan & Words

Lord Tredegar’s biographer, William Cross, announces a new book on Evan Frederic Morgan,

the “ fairy prince of modern times”

The new book is RRP of £8.00 + p&p

p & p UK £3.00; Europe £5.00; Other £7.50.

ALSO ON AMAZON

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tredegar-Selected-Letters-Prose-Quotations/dp/1905914334/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1439818422&sr=1-3

Otherwise orders to 58, Sutton Road, Newport, Gwent, NP 19 7JF

Web link for further information on the book:

http://tilly-losch-secrets.yolasite.com/evan-morgan-lord–tredegar–letters-poetry–prose.php

Blurb 1

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Friends of Tredegar House