'The Welsh Traitor's Daughter' tells the story of Gruffydd ap Cynan, an inspirational king of Gwynedd in the late 11th and early 12th centuries. His children, Owain Gwynedd and Gwenllian, the warrior princess, who was beheaded on the battlefield by the Normans, are better known but Gruffydd was a mover and shaker of his time.
Gruffydd fought and won against the Normans, clawing back territory that they had taken. He trained the Welsh to defeat the enemy on their terms using guerilla warfare and the advantages of their prowess with the long bow as well as their ability to thrive in the mountains. The Normans who were almost unbeatable in pitched battles on flat land were unable to make a dent in the Welsh armour.
Gruffydd made clever alliances with Ireland and Norway to keep the Normans at bay and he built up Gwynedd into a prosperous kingdom. Anglesey, was where Gruffydd and Angharad had their main court, or llys, in the village of Aberffraw. While little remains there now to give us an indication of the lives which were led there, we know that Gruffydd and his queen hosted international royalty.
Gruffydd had spent some of his childhood in Ireland and he brought some of the bards from Ireland to work with the Welsh bards thus changing bardic tradition. He was a great supporter of Welsh culture and a patron of the Welsh church. In his time, Gruffydd built many churches and was a contributor to Bangor Cathedral where he and his son are buried.
Arianwen Nunn is a Welsh woman who has been living in Australia since 1986. Born in Carmarthen, she moved to Abergele, North Wales, at the age of 11, and later attended Swansea University. After teaching for a couple of years Arianwen moved to Papua New Guinea and then Australia. As a child Arianwen was so intrigued by the history she learnt at school in Abergele that when she retired from her full-time job she researched and wrote the historical fiction, 'The Welsh Traitor's Daughter'. Kathy has already embarked on the second book in the series which she is hoping to have published later in 2023.
You can find Arianwen's book, 'The Welsh Traitor's Daughter' on Amazon.com.au priced at AU$21.99 for the paperback and there is also an ebook. The link is on her website www.arianwennunn.com There are also some interesting blogs for history buffs on her website.