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This year's publication is A Spiritual Botanology edited with an introduction by Adam N. Coward. It was launched at Pontypool Museum on Saturday 2nd December 2017.

The Editor, Adam N. Coward, is an independent researcher based in mid Wales. His interest in the Revd Edmund Jones began while researching for his PhD at the University of Wales, Newport. His thesis, entitled ‘Magic and the Supernatural in Eighteenth-century Wales: The World of the Rev. Edmund Jones (1702–1793)’, examined the supernatural worldview of ‘Yr Hen Broffwyd’, contextualising it within Jones’s social, cultural, religious, and intellectual environments. From his initial research about Jones’s writings on ghosts and fairies, Adam’s research interests have expanded eclectically to further include the history of Welsh national identity, transnational networks of knowledge exchange, American perceptions of Wales, the history of salmon fishing in Wales, and, of course, this current work on Welsh herbal-lore and medicine.

The Author, the Revd Edmund Jones, ‘Yr Hen Broffwyd’ of Pontypool (1702–1793), is best remembered today for recording stories of ghosts, fairies, evil spirits, and magic, but his interests, activities, and writings were much more diverse. Jones was an extremely active Independent preacher, travelling the length and breadth of Wales as part of the eighteenth-century religious revival and publishing a number of sermons. In addition to these published sermons, his parish history, A Geographical, Historical, and Religious Account of the Parish of Aberystruth (1779), and his supernatural work, A Relation of Apparitions of Spirits in the Principality of Wales (1780), Jones also wrote several unpublished manuscripts, among which is ‘A Spiritual Botanology’.

This volume is itself a diverse and multifaceted work, granting key access to many different areas of eighteenth-century culture, thought, and society, as well as to the personal life and belief of its author. It is ostensibly a work about plants, but the explicit purpose of the work is religious, and each plant is discussed in the context of what quality of God or Christianity is reflected by it, portrayed as sermons which could be ‘read’ by the faithful. The work therefore further illustrates Jones’s interesting and comprehensive religious worldview, which saw flowers as well as fairies as revealing God’s wisdom, power, and glory.

Further details about this book and how to order it...

The following titles are also in preparation:

  • Charlie’s War: The First World War Memoir of Private Charles Heare, 1914-1919, edited by Christabel Hutchings and Richard Frame

  • The Diary of William Southern Clark, 1854. Cardiff Steals a March, edited by Richard Watson

  • The Diary of Charles Morgan of Gower, 1834-1857, edited by Rod Cooper


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