Terry Breverton was educated at Manchester and Lancaster universities, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Consulting and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He has spoken on Wales at the North American Festival of Wales at Vancouver and Washington and across Wales, given academic papers in Paris, Thessaloniki, Charleston and Seattle and taught in Milan and Reggio Emilia. He has given the Bemis Lecture at Lincoln, Massachusetts and been awarded a Helm Fellowship at the University of Indiana. Breverton has appeared in several television documentaries about the Welsh, including in Los Angeles, and has worked and consulted in over thirty countries.
After a career in international business and acadaemia, he is a full-time non-fiction writer of over fifty books, and has won five Welsh Books Council ‘Book of the Month’ awards. He has spoken across Wales upon Welsh heritage, a particular interest being Welsh pirates and privateers such as ‘Black Bart’ Roberts and Admiral Sir Henry Morgan. His A to Z of Wales and the Welsh was an acclaimed ‘first Welsh encyclopaedia’, and Archbishop Rowan Williams commented upon his The Book of Welsh Saints: ‘this book is a really extraordinary achievement: a compilation of tradition, topography and literary detective work that can have few rivals. I have enjoyed browsing it immensely, and have picked up all sorts of new lines to follow up… an enormous work of research.’ Richard Booth MBE, (King Richard Coeur de Livre, the ‘King of Hay’), states that ‘Breverton has done more for Welsh tourism than the Welsh Tourist Board.’
His books have been published across the world, and translated into over twenty languages from Polish and Turkish to Chinese and Japanese. Breverton played rugby until he was 38, and says his proudest achievement is being on the committee of Llanybydder Rugby Football Club. Breverton’s 100 Great Welshmen (2001) was a Welsh Books Council Book of the Month reviewed as ‘a fascinating compendium’ with ‘painstaking research’. His second edition of 2006 was called: ‘a veritable goldmine of a book’; and ’a massive treasure chest of facts and figures which no collector of books on Wales can overlook’.
He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Do you want to know why for almost a century Cardiff was considered ‘the greatest’ rugby club in the world? Or that during this period, from the years 1934-35 to 1973-74, in every season, at least one of eight brothers from Taff’s Well played for Cardiff. And that the most famous, Bleddyn Williams, captained Cardiff and Wales, to the only two losses by the All Blacks in their 1953 British tour? Or that brother Lloyd and cousin Bill Tamplin also captained Cardiff and Wales?
And that their uncle from the same village, Roy Roberts MM, played for Cardiff before and after the war with the eldest Williams brothers? This is the story both of their first rugby club, Taff’s Well, and of Cardiff RFC, and of an astonishing achievement, not replicable in any team sport, of eight great rugby players whose careers were blighted by war and National Service. Despite this, they played 1,480 times for Cardiff – in all of sporting history, no other family has EVER COME CLOSE to the careers of the Williams brothers.
100 Greatest Welsh Women – Did you know that the Britons can boast hundreds of female saints, one of whom has the oldest continuously worshipped well in Europe, as well the female Valentine, Arthur’s queen, an unknown Queen of England, the first woman poet, the inspiration for The Bible Society, the real ‘Lady of the Lamp’, the ‘First Lady of the Confederate States of America’, the tutor to the Children of the King of Siam, the first British female physician, ‘one of the finest painters of our time and country’, the pioneering bacteriologist responsible for pasteurised milk, a leading actress for eight decades, the ‘Queen of Hollywood’, the founder of a global fabric empire, ‘the most successful British singer, a fashion icon who gave us the mini-skirt, the ‘Best Female Singer in the Last Fifty Years’, one of the 20th century’s greatest sopranos, the first folk artist to play Carnegie Hall, the Greenham Common martyr, and the most successful Paralympic athlete in the world?
The 100 Greatest Welshmen is a veritable goldmine of a book. Did you know that Wales can boast the man who made possible the Internet, the world’s first football superstar, the patron saint of computer technicians, America’s greatest pathfinder, the founder of socialism, Europe’s greatest legend, an American Public Enemy No. 1, the pioneer of cinema, the first British historian, the world’s greatest pirate, the 20th century’s most important liberal thinker, America’s greatest architect, the man who won the First World War, five of the first six presidents of the United States of America and the world’s most successful buccaneer?
“Breverton is unashamedly and proudly nationalistic. In his introduction he writes, ‘This book is not meant as an academic tome, as its purpose is to show tourists the type of people the Welsh are, and also to tell the Welsh themselves what they are not taught in schools.’ He then goes on to lament, ‘the utter ineptitude of Welsh political organisations, placemen quangos and a remote, uncaring London government, over the last five decades, has depressingly failed to secure a reasonable future for Wales.
He is justly proud of his Welsh heritage and, as with many an enthusiast, he wishes to share his passion with others. He has undoubtedly succeeded with this and put patriotism back into the reader’s spirit and maybe envy into the tourist’s heart. It is important to keep this form of passive nationalism alive in order to keep the culture and language of Wales flourishing.” – Norma Penfold : A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.