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A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees

Authors: Clare Dudman

Published by Seren

ISBN: 9781854115188

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Impoverished and oppressed in their own country, they'd been promised paradise on earth: a land flowing with milk and honey. But what the settlers found after a devastating sea journey was a cold South American desert where, it seemed, nothing could survive. Yet this desert was home to the nomadic Tehuelche.

A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees is a lyrical evocation of the trials of the colonists as they battle to survive hunger, loss, and internal rivalries. Based on a true story, the settlers are Welsh, their New World is Patagonia, at the southernmost extremity of Argentina. Silas James fears he has been tricked into sacrificing everything he loves for another man's impossible dream. But despite his hatred of the politically adept Edwyn Lloyd, and under the watchful eye of Indian shaman Yeluc, a new culture takes root as an old one passes away.

To research A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees Dudman travelled across the Patagonian desert in a bus, and then took The Old Patagonian Express in the Andes. Along the way she interviewed the descendants of Welsh settlers who came here in 1865. Other research for this novel included intensive courses in Welsh and shamanism.

Clare Dudman was born in North Wales. She has a PhD in Chemistry and has worked as a postdoctoral Research Associate in UMIST, a development scientist in industry, a science teacher, a lecturer and as a creative writing tutor for the WEA and the MA in creative writing at University College Chester. She is a member of the Welsh Academy. In 1995 her children's novel Edge of Danger won the Kathleen Fidler award and in 2001 an excerpt from Wegener's Jigsaw won an Arts Council of England Writers award.
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