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Listening and laughing to our latest Classic


This May I debated whether I would traditionally read my next classic, The Rebecca Rioter by Amy Dillwyn or whether I would break the norm and listen to the audio book instead. The benefit of the audio would be that I could clean the house while I listened, or instead I could eat biscuits and drink tea in my reading chair with a new physical book. I chose the audio but not to break too far from tradition I also chose the tea and biscuits.

The Rebecca Rioter by Amy Dillwyn is based around the well-known (at least in Wales) riots where male rioters notoriously dressed as women to attack toll-gates. The narration of this story is done by Edward Llewelyn who was a perfect fit for immersing listeners into South Wales in the early 19th Century.

At the start of the novel we are introduced to Evan Williams, a young working class man who finds himself discontent with the injustice and social inequality he and those like him are living with. The narrative weaves around his rebellious notions and introduces a variety of bombastic characters as he finds himself embroiled in revolution.

Amy Dillwyn’s writing was flawless and fun and was masterful on audio. I often found myself chuckling at Evan’s comments on the rich, the police, and the elite—all of which had a lot of bearing on our present day. I am inspired to return to the physical text, to really grasp the wit and texture of her writing, but I immensely enjoyed the accessibility of the audio book and found I could connect with the story in a new and interesting way. I am also eager to read more of Dillwyn’s work, which is handy as our next Classic is Jill, also by Amy Dillwyn.

Lynzie Fitzpatrick – May 2024

[Lynzie Fitzpatrick, Honno’s Business Manager, is one of the team embarking on the Classics Reading Challenge this year. Keep an eye on our website and social media for more updates and reviews of our Welsh Women’s Classics]

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