Alina, the White Lady of Oystermouth


Non-Fiction - Historical
40 Pages
Reviewed on 04/24/2013
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Author Biography

Writing poetry and making up stories since she was a child, Ann only started to write seriously when her children were grown. Her main ambition is to write science fiction (with three novels at various stages in a series called Flight of the Kestrel), but along the way she got fascinated by local history and distracted by a major stroke. But she wrote poetry about her stroke and spent her recovery writing a local history book. Taking early retirement gave her more time to concentrate on her writing.

The result is an exciting new book about a little-known piece of Swansea and Gower history. What began with a curiosity about the heyday of Swansea Castle, resulted in Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, the only book about Alina de Breos and the part that Swansea and Gower played in the toppling of Edward II from the throne. And now she is writing a second local history book about the Lords of Gower and King John.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Thomas Falco for Readers' Favorite

In this piece of non fiction, the writer has presented the life story of Alina de Breos in her fight for the Gower peninsular. It includes important information about her family, Wales and England at that time period - including the famous fight between King Edward II and Queen Isabella. This information is vital in understanding Alina's story and the era that she lived in. It also includes information about the family line of Alina, showing the estate of her family and how it changed through generations before getting to Alina's life - again, more vital information needed to better understand her story.

Though this piece of writing is based on facts, I couldn't help sense a bit of a storyline. Sometimes non fiction can get too caught up in story telling that the underlying facts are put on the backbench but I must stress that while there is an interesting storyline to this piece, the emphasis is on the facts - which is needed in any good non fiction writing. It is a great short piece. The amount of information isn't overwhelming and certainly a good introduction for anybody wanting to research this particular era. The only problem I had as a reader reading this is that there are a lot of 'Williams' in the story (especially at the start). Although it helps keep as much historical detail to the piece, it can be a little hard keeping up with which William is which. But entering this piece with this in mind, it is a wonderful piece that is rich with historical information. It is in fact a great starting point for further research into this field.

Ann Marie Thomas

"Have you ever seen the ghost in Oystermouth Castle? Then you wouldn't be alone, as there have been countless reports of a spectral white lady wandering the remains at night, who many believe to be the lost soul of 14th century noblewoman Alina de Breos. In her first book, which was launched at the Oxfam Bookshop in Castle Street, Ann Marie Thomas has collected together the back story of this tragic figure from Swansea's past. A fascinating account of what really happened in a local landmark many, many years ago..." - Swansea Life magazine June 2012

Swansea Life magazine

Swansea Life magazine Book Review by Mark Rees
June 2012 issue, page 34

Have you ever seen the ghost in Oystermouth Castle? Then you wouldn't be alone, as there have been countless reports of a spectral white lady wandering the remains at night, who many believe to be the lost soul of 14th century noblewoman Alina de Breos. In her first book, which was launched at the Oxfam Bookshop in Castle Street, Ann Marie Thomas has collected the back story of this tragic figure from Swansea's past. A fascinating account of what really happened in a local landmark many, many years ago…