Graham Writer

Musings of an author.

Llangadog author brings Iron Masters of Merthyr to life

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Llangadog author brings Iron Masters of Merthyr to life.

Following two years of research into the history of Merthyr, author Graham Watkins, has published his first novel ‘The Iron Masters.’ In it he chronicles the life of Nye Vaughn, a Llangadog farmer’s son who rises to control an empire of ironworks, mines and quarries employing thousands of men.

 Graham says, ‘In the 18th Century a few bold men created the biggest industrial city the world had ever seen. They were the Iron Masters. Napoleon Bonaparte, himself an artillery officer, was learning the art of war and Britain was rearming. The Iron Masters saw their chance and made fortunes from cannon production. More than a thousand cannons a week had to be cast to equip the new ships of the line. Their cannons saved a kingdom, forged the greatest empire in the world and changed the history of the human race. As I researched the Iron Masters, it became obvious that this was an incredible story. The characters were already there, larger than life and the plot, the story of the rise Merthyr and its descent into mayhem and riots, wrote itself.’

Graham’s curiosity in the Iron Masters began with a visit to Vaynor churchyard, researching his own family ancestry, when Robert Crawshay’s huge tombstone caught his attention. The simple epitaph ‘God Forgive Me’ started him wondering what sort of men the Iron Masters were. Learning that one of his own ancestors was a stonemason who was said to have worked on the Pontsticill Viaduct added to his interest.

The Iron Masters is a story of ambition, greed and, above all, the extraordinary resilience of the people of Wales and how they dealt with life’s challenges in the 18th Century.

Iron Master publicity shot smallThe Iron Masters Is available as a paperback from and as an eBook from Amazon.


Author: grahamwriter

Hi. I’m Graham Watkins and I have spent several years researching Welsh legends and myths. It has been a wonderful project and great fun as I explored rugged mountains, mysterious castles, enchanting waterfalls and golden beaches to discover the tales that have been handed down from generation to generation. Wales is a land of mystery and being a Celtic race the Welsh are fantastic story tellers. I've collected eighty of my favourite legends together in my book 'Welsh Legends and Myths.' That’s how I started writing. My first novel 'The Iron Masters' was an historical novel set in Merthyr during the Napoleonic Wars when Merthyr Tydfil was rearming the British Empire, fortunes were being made through other's sweat and anything was possible. Today, I am a multi genre novelist, hobby farmer and explorer. It’s all been great fun and the story isn’t over yet. I've recently published 'A White Man's War,' the story of a terrible siege during which the Scouting movement was born and 'The Sicilian Defence' a novel about a young American Woman lured to Sicily to a terrible fate. All my books are listed on the books page of my website. Right now I'm working on a modern day political thriller in which terrorists, computer programmers and a big brother state fight for their very survival. Oh! And don't forget to click here to join my mailing list for the latest news and stories and receive three free eBooks delivered straight to your inbox.

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