William de Breos rose to a position of great power and influence as a close confidant of King John, but when his wife revealed John's greatest secret John's revenge was brutal. William's sons and grandson turned to Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd to help them regain their lands. The fall of the de Breos family was the final spark that lit the fire of Magna Carta and led to the offer of the English crown to the prince of France.
1. As a resident of the Gower Peninsula, I’ve really enjoyed Ann Marie Thomas’s colourful and insightful accounts of the area’s troubled history. The sequel (or prequel) to Ms Thomas’s previous book Alina: the White Lady of Oystermouth (Paperback) , ‘Broken Reed’ tells of Alina’s ancestor William de Breos and his turbulent friendship with King John (he of the Magna Carta). Ms Thomas’s conversational style and attention to detail make for an easy, interesting and informative read, while the extensive bibliography and endnotes provide ample resources for further exploration.
2. There are very few well written non-fiction Welsh historical books. This is one of them. If you want to know more about the Gower's history and why such a small peninsula has the ruins of so many Norman castles this is the book for you. I thoroughly enjoyed a glimpse into the past of one of the most beautiful parts of Wales