Scholar, churchman, diplomat and theologian, Gerald of Wales was one of the most fascinating figures of the Middle Ages and The Journey Through Wales describes his eventful tour of the country as a missionary in 1188. In a style reminiscent of a diary, Gerald records the day-to-day events of the mission, alongside lively accounts of local miracles, folklore and religious relics such as Saint Patrick's Horn, and eloquent descriptions of natural scenery that includes the rugged promontory of St David's and the vast snow-covered panoramas of Snowdonia. The landscape is evoked in further detail in The Description, which chronicles the everyday lives of the Welsh people with skill and affection. Witty and gently humorous throughout, these works provide a unique view into the medieval world.
Gerald of Wales was born c.1145 in Pembrokeshire. He died in obscurity, possibly in Lincoln in 1223. He wrote seventeen books, all of them in Latin, and was well-connected to the Royal Family of his day. Lewis Thorpe was Professor of French at Nottingham University from 1958 to 1977. He was President of the British Branch of the International Arthurian Society. He died in 1977.