Wednesday 6 November 2019

An Author’s Inspiration: Owain Glyndŵr inspires a Regency Romance by Jayne Davis #amwriting #HistoricalFiction @jaynedavis142

An Author’s Inspiration
 Owain Glyndŵr inspires a Regency Romance
By Jayne Davis
Seal of Owain Glyndŵr

Owain Glyndŵr was the last native-born Prince of Wales, and died some time around 1415. I write Regency Romances, so how can a Welsh freedom fighter have inspired a light-hearted romance?
The man first crossed my path, in a manner of speaking, when I was studying for my English Literature O level (for non-Brits, or Brits a good deal younger than me, O levels were formal qualifications taken at the age of 16). We had to study at least one Shakespeare play, and ours was Henry IV Part 1. In that play, much is made of the rivalry between 3 men of similar age – Prince Hal (later to become Henry V), Hotspur (Sir Henry Percy) and Owen Glendower (the anglicised spelling of Glyndŵr’s name). In the play, Glyndŵr is presented as a magician who can control the weather – having experienced some bad weather in Wales, I can understand why the English may have thought this!

The real man

Corwen’s statue of Owain Glyndŵr / Ian West.

In reality, Glyndŵr was a descendent of the Princes of Powys. He instigated a Welsh Revolt against Henry IV; there are differing explanations of the initial cause of this rebellion. Over a period of several years he gradually took control of Wales, and in 1404 he called his first parliament at Machynlleth and had himself crowned Prince of Wales. Then Prince Henry changed the English strategy from military expeditions into Wales to economic blockade, and this gradually succeeded. His last successful raid was in 1412.

Glyndŵr’s Parliament House in Machynlleth, pictured in 1814.

He was never seen again by his enemies after that. He was never captured or betrayed, in spite of rewards being offered by the English. His final fate and grave are unknown, although there are various theories about how he spent his last days.

A story is born

Today, Glyndŵr is recognised as a national hero, and this is where I come back into the story. One of my hobbies is doing long distance walks with my partner and a friend. There is a 9 day walk across Wales called the Glyndŵr Way, linking some places associated with him. At one point, huddling in a wood in the cold and wet to eat a bit of lunch, we found a historical notice board explaining that a Welsh army had seen off English forces here, assisted by the weather. It seemed most appropriate.
It was on that same holiday, when my thoughts were wandering as they do at such times, that I contemplated mentions of Wales in historical romances. In one of Georgette Heyer’s novels (Faro’s Daughter), a secondary character is sent off to an aunt in Wales to keep her out of the clutches of the unpleasant suitor her father has lined up for her. The implication is that the aunt is a force to be reckoned with. In other tales, heroines are threatened with being sent to their aunt in Wales as a punishment for misdeeds (refusing offers of marriage, or wanting to accept the wrong ones).
Then I started to wonder, what if the aunt in Wales was not quite what anyone expected? And so a story was born. I also love the Welsh countryside, and leapt at the chance to describe some of it as part of my story. Glyndŵr gets a very short mention!

Autumnal scenery in mid Wales.

An Embroidered Spoon
By Jayne Davis

Wales 1817

After refusing every offer of marriage that comes her way, Isolde Farrington is packed off to a spinster aunt in Wales until she comes to her senses.
Rhys Williams, there on business, is turning over his uncle’s choice of bride for him, and the last thing he needs is to fall for an impertinent miss like Izzy – who takes Rhys for a yokel.
Izzy’s new surroundings make her look at life, and Rhys, afresh. But when her father, Lord Bedley, discovers that the situation in Wales is not what he thought, and that Rhys is in trade, a gulf opens for a pair who’ve come to love each other.
Will a difference in class keep them apart?

 Pick up your copy of

An Embroidered Spoon

or read free on Kindle Unlimited.

Jayne Davis

Jayne Davis writes historical romances set in the late Georgian/Regency era, published as both ebooks and paperbacks.
She was hooked on Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer as a teenager, and longed to write similar novels herself. Real life intervened, and she had several careers, including as a non-fiction author under another name. That wasn't quite the writing career she had in mind...
Finally, she got around to polishing up stories written for her own amusement in long winter evenings, and became the kind of author she’d dreamed of in her teens. She is now working on the first few books in the Marstone Series, set in the late Georgian/early Regency period, but keeps getting distracted by other story ideas.
Connect with Jayne: Website FacebookTwitterPinterestGoodreads.


  1. Searched a lots of site but thing not was clear. You have written the blog in proper order so the the visitors can understand easily.

  2. Interesting to learn more about the background of An Embroidered Spoon. Thank you!


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx