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Bred of Heaven

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Bred of Heaven, Jasper Rees, book review“Some are born Welsh. Some achieve Welshness. I am going to thrust myself upon Wales”.

Jasper Rees is a thoroughly English man; born in London, educated at Harrow, and brought up to cheer whenever he crossed the Severn Bridge in an eastward direction. But despite this background, he admits to an “unfilled sense of ancestral belonging” whenever he crosses the border to visit his grandparents in Carmarthen. This is what the Welsh call hiraeth – a deep longing to be somewhere (the nearest you can get to it in English is probably “homesickness”, although the translation isn’t quite literal). Jasper’s hiraeth led him to establish Project Wales, an attempt to explore his Welsh ancestry, to reclaim his roots and to live up to his surname by way of a book deal that produced the wonderfully titled Bred of Heaven.

So how do you set about doing something as nebulous as reclaiming your ancestry?

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