“La Maison: The History of a Breton” – Yann Fouéré

La Maison – The History of a Breton
Drwm, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

La Maison – The History of a Breton is the second part of the memoirs of Yann Fouéré who was born in 1910. He was an active Breton language campaigner and helped set-up Ar Brezhoneg er Skol in 1934 which aimed to promote the teaching of Breton and Breton history in Breton schools – subject which were banned at the time by the French authorities. He also founded and edited two newspapers, La Bretagne and Dépêche de Brest during the War. He was also a member of Comité Consultatif de Bretagne, an assembly set up to advise upon Breton rights, and thanks to which many positive changes were made, particularly in the spheres of teaching Breton language and history.

With the end of the War with the French authorities arrested thousands of Bretons who’d attempted to promote Breton language and culture. In 1946 he fled to Paris and then Wales under a false passport. In Wales he stayed a short while with DJ Davies and his Irish wife, Noelle near Abergavenny, moving on to stay with the Gwynfor Evans in Llangadog and DJ Williams in Fishguard and the poet Gwenallt in Aberystwyth. He also stayed with the late Delwyn Phillips of Aberystwyth when Delwyn lived and worked in Birmingham. Despite finding work as a French tutor at Swansea university he was forced to flee to Ireland to avoid prosecution by the French authorities. In Ireland he found other Breton refugees and ultimately settled in Connemara in Western Ireland where he co-founded and set up a successful lobster farm.

Yann Fouéré, who is still alive, is now 101 years old and lives in St Briec – Aberystwyth’s twin town in Brittany. He was exonerated of all charges against him by a French tribunal in 1958. His political and cultural contribution to Breton and Celtic life has been substantial. He was a regular contributor to daily newspapers in Ireland, Belgium and the UK (very often under pseudonyms). His most famous and influential work was the publication of ‘L’Europe aux Cents Drapeaux’ in 1968 which has been through several editions and was translated into English as ‘Towards a Federal Europe‘ in 1980. Many of his articles can be read on the Fondation Yann Fouéré website: www.fondationyannfouere.org

La Maison – The History of a Breton was translated from the original French by his daughter, Rozenn Fouéré Barrett. The book is published by Old Chapel Press in Ireland. Rozenn and her brother, Erwan, will be at the launch at the National Library. The event will be chaired by Dafydd Wigley, as one of his last public functions as the President of the National Library of Wales.

La Maison – The History of a Breton
ISBN 978-0-9560062-2-6, (www.oldchapelpress.net)
Foundation Yann Fouere Website: www.fondationyannfouere.org

This entry was posted in History, Human Rights, Independence/Nationalism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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