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Last Updated: Friday, 13 July 2007, 05:56 GMT 06:56 UK
Wales to get encyclopaedia volume
The cover of the Encyclopaedia of Wales
Four Welsh academics have led the compilation of the encyclopaedia
A "definitive" encyclopaedia on Wales compiled by academics over 10 years will be ready before Christmas.

Politics, climate, dance, art, and natural history will be among the subjects covered in the book, which has been part-funded by a lottery grant.

The single volumes in English and Welsh will be out in November and there are also plans for an online version.

The University of Wales Press have called it Wales's most important book since the Welsh Bible in 1588.

A team led by John Davies, Menna Baines, Nigel Jenkins and Peredur Lynch, and aided by hundreds of contributors said to be authorities in their fields, have researched, written and edited the encyclopaedia.

It will feature information on every settlement of any size in Wales and there will be more than 5,000 entries in the book, ranging from 50 to more than 5,000 words.

SAMPLE ENTRIES IN THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Swansea is Britain's wettest city
Wales produces more energy than it consumes
Felinfoel Brewery was the first in Europe to can beer
Caerwent has the best preserved Roman city defences in northern Europe
The highest mountain in the world was named after a Welshman - George Everest, the distinguished geodetic (earth measurement) surveyor

Ashley Drake, director of publishers University of Wales Press, said the book had been "a revelation" and would be "a real celebration of all things Welsh".

"It's crammed with facts and figures about places and people, accomplishments and accolades, trials and tribulations," he added.

"Did you know that the equals sign '=' was devised by a Welshman?

"Robert Recorde, from Tenby, invented the globally used symbol in the 1540s and was also the first person to write an arithmetic textbook in English."

The 60 book is a joint project between the University of Wales Press and the Academi, and has also been funded by the Arts Council of Wales.

It follows the publication of a Scottish encyclopaedia in 1994, and Ireland's in 2003. England is yet to have its own encyclopaedia.




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