DEWITHON DIARY: Wales Readathon 2019
Dewithon is an opportunity for book bloggers around the world to discover Welsh writers and their works (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, in fact anything written in English or Welsh with links to the nation of Wales).
We will begin our 31 days of celebration on 1st March 2019 (St. David’s Day), and if successful, this could well become an annual event. There are plenty of useful links and reading suggestions at DHQ (Dewithon Headquarters) but please don’t hesitate to ask for help if you are struggling to get started. You are free to read and write on any literary subject relating to Wales, but if you are one of those people who prefer a little structure to your readathons, I make the following suggestion:
The Official Dewithon 2019 Book
The title I am inviting you to read, review and discuss with me this month is The Autobiography of a Super-tramp by W.H. Davies, a classic work of non-fiction in which the Welsh poet describes his life as a tramp, or vagrant, in the UK, Canada and the United States during the final decade of the 19th century. This classic autobiography, first published in 1908, is a fascinating read, which takes one on an extraordinary journey through the life of a uniquely talented if flawed individual.
I have chosen this book partly because of its likely appeal to an international readership, but mainly because the writer, William Henry Davies (1871-1940) is such an intriguing figure. He went from child delinquent to national hero during his lifetime – and some of you may well enjoy reading his poetry.
My copy of Super-tramp is 253 pages long (including the preface, foreword etc.), but no doubt every edition will differ slightly. Should you wish to break the book down into discussable sections and share your thoughts as you read, I would suggest the following:
WEEK ONE (Friday 1st to Thursday 7th March): Chapters 1-7 – ‘Childhood’ to ‘Law in America’
WEEK TWO (Friday 8th to Thursday 14th March): Chapters 8-14 – ‘A Prisoner His Own Judge’ to ‘The House Boat’
WEEK THREE (Friday 15th to Thursday 21st March): Chapters 15-21 – ‘A Lynching’ to ‘London’
WEEK FOUR (Friday 22nd to Thursday 28th March): Chapters 22-28 – ‘The Ark’ to ‘On Tramp Again’
WEEK FIVE (Friday 29th March to Sunday 4th April): Chapters 29-34 – ‘A Day’s Companion’ to ‘A House to Let’
I have strayed very slightly into April to give you time to complete the final chapters. However, if you finish before that date, give yourself a pat on the back and a lovely big bunch of daffs – if not, don’t worry, this is a reading jolly and the rules are there to be broken.
Please let me know if you write anything at all about the Wales Readathon – but I’m especially keen to highlight your reviews and features. To do this, simply leave a link to your piece in the comments section below or drop me a line, and should you post anything relating to the event on Twitter, I would appreciate you using the hashtag #dewithon19.
Thank you and good luck (diolch a phob lwc)!
- LibriVox recording of The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp by William Henry Davies. (Read in English by Expatriate)
- W.H. Davies Manuscripts – The National Library of Wales