On Friday 25 September, 2020, local author Jane Blank will launch her latest publication, Nanteos – The Dipping Pool, at Stordy Wyre & Post Office Llanrhystud.

All welcome, come along and enjoy the excitement of the day!!!

Nanteos: The Dipping Pool by Jane Blank
Nanteos: The Dipping Pool by Jane Blank
Jane Blank authorJane’s latest novel, Nanteos: The Dipping Pool is companion to The Shadow of Nanteos, described by Robert Peston as “A wonderfully gothic evocation of Wild Wales”.

The second part of a Welsh historical series, seen as Ceredigion’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, is published this week. Described as “lyrical, visceral and angry” Nanteos: The Dipping Pool is a gothic novel set against the dramatic backdrop of 1750s Cardiganshire.

Written by critically acclaimed novelist and poet Jane Blank, the book is both prequel and sequel to the 2015 bestseller The Shadow of Nanteos. Both novels are based on the Powell family of Nanteos mansion, located some 3 miles inland from Aberystwyth, with The Dipping Pool concentrating more on the workers and local people – the lead miners, tenant farmers, conjurors, fullers, midwives and gypsies.

“When I finished The Shadow of Nanteos I missed that world and the characters in it. Plas Nanteos is so much more than a gentry house. Estates like this one, which, in its heyday encompassed over 30,000 acres, were more mini ‘kingdoms’. Whole villages were owned and controlled by one family. I wanted not only to explore the lives of these squires, but also to move amongst the people who worked for them; people like my own ancestors on my mother’s side. On returning to the world of Nanteos, I enjoyed seeing the characters again – but many of them, for example Cai, I found had changed!”

Nanteos: The Dipping Pool starts five months prior to the Rev William Powell and his wife Elizabeth inheriting the mansion and explores the estate’s ‘back story’. For the next fourteen months, the narrative runs along the same time frame as the first novel, while characters on the fringes of the earlier book become the new main protagonists. Blank says, “The Shadow of Nanteos ended abruptly, so the sequel resolves this story, moving forwards to finish about five months after the original book ended. Whereas The Shadow of Nanteos has a relatively small cast of important characters and a tight, claustrophobic focus on the house and family, The Dipping Pool ranges wide across the vast Nanteos estate.”

Evoking a strong sense of place throughout and with real locations that readers can explore, this book is certain to appeal to anyone interested in gripping historical fiction and the rule of the gentry in rural Wales. Fusing privilege with tradition and superstition, the violent, secretive world of eighteenth-century Ceredigion is brought to brutal life.


Live from Plas Nanteos: from October 8th for 7weeks, Jane Blank will be giving readings from and

exploring the background to, her new novel Nanteos: The Dipping Pool. Sessions will be streamed live from the mansion at 6pm every Thursday.

Praise for Nanteos: The Dipping Pool:

‘Draws us into a world of magic and enchantment, a world that is sensuous, thrilling, mystical – and dangerous.’ Professor Anne Rowe.

‘Pulls off that rarest of tricks – we pause to admire Blank’s style, then race to turn the page.’ Professor Richard Marggraf Turley

The Shadow of Nanteos tells of William Powell and his headstrong wife Elizabeth’s unexpected inheritance of the glorious Nanteos estate in Cardiganshire. On arrival, it seems their new life is everything they could wish for. But, as her debt-ridden husband is snared by the land disputes and violence of the ‘Cardiganshire Lead Wars’, Elizabeth, struggling to fit into her new role, is increasingly drawn to the mysterious figure of Cai, the estate’s handsome bailiff. Soon the family is caught up in a violent political and legal battle that will end in tragedy.

“A wonderfully gothic evocation of Wild Wales” Robert Peston

“Dark, dramatic and visceral.” Deborah Kay Davies

The Shadow of Nanteos was long listed for the Historical Novel Society awards and was Waterstones Wales Book of the Month.

The Author Jane Blank

Jane Blank grew up in Sheffield but often visited family in Ceredigion, hence the interest in the mysterious ‘Nanteos’. After studying English and Drama at UEA, she settled in Abergavenny to bring up her children, teaching in a Welsh language secondary school in Pontypool. After completing a Creative Writing MA in Cardiff, Jane has tutored and lectured extensively both in the UK and US in venues such as the National Library of Wales, Wales Millennium Centre, Aberystwyth University and at the Hay Festival. She now lives on a small holding in Ceredigion, working as a writing tutor and for an environmental charity.

Jane has written three novels to date, her work winning prizes and awards and being featured on television and radio and in numerous magazines and anthologies including Planet, New Welsh Review, Poetry Wales, Poetry Quarterly Review, The Western Mail, The Bronte Society Magazine, Big Issue, Observer Magazine and The Independent. She is a member of Literature Wales and is one of their ‘Writers on Tour’, regularly performing her work in public.

See Jane’s website for more details: www.jane-blank.info

Book Details

The paperback book, printed at Y Lolfa, Talybont, can be purchased for £9.99, and is available at all good book shops.

  • Department: Fiction
  • Format: Paperback | 357 pages
  • Dimensions: 130 x 195mm
  • Publication date: 21 September 2020
  • Publisher: Y Lolfa
  • Publication City/Country: Talybont, Wales, UK
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1-78461-877-3

Buy: Nanteos: The Dipping Pool