Ashamed not to have heard of Geraint Goodwin before today - and then it was only by accident. Russell George, a friend and now a member of the Executive Board of Powys County Council invited me to a book reading at his shop in the centre of Newtown, Montgomeryshire. I called in for a glass of mulled wine, and to see what was going on. The book concerned was 'Heyday in the Blood' by Geraint Goodwin. Extracts were read by Mary Oldham of the local Civic Society, followed by a discussion with the author's daughter, Myfanwy - who lives in Montgomery. Turned out she had been a visitor to our garden at the Cil. Small world!
Geraint Goodwin was born in Newtown in 1903, but went to school in Tywyn. On leaving school, he became an apprentice at the Montgomeryshire Express, which begot today's County Times. He must have been good, because he moved on to Fleet Street, where he worked on the Daily Sketch. When he was 27 he fell ill with Tb, and spent several months in a sanatorium. His experiences inspired him to write his first novel, 'Call Back Yesterday'. It was so good that he commissioned to write two more novels, the first being his most famous work 'Heyday in the Blood'. Today's event was to celebrate this novel being re-printed in the Library of Wales series which was published by Partheon Books this month.
Geraint Goodwin loved Montgomeryshire, and moved back to Newtown, where he died at the young age of 39. His books are set in the rural hinterland of Newtown, and there is a plaque in his honour on the wall of Barclay's Bank in Newtown, next door to Fuze. I've bought a copy of the book. He is probably one of Montgomeryshire's finest authors. I'll review it when I've read it. I hope that he becomes a little less neglected as a result of today's event. Russell has plenty more copies for sale.