Centerville: A Mid-American Saga: History Press 2012   click here to buy on Amazon






As an European coming from my Welsh hometown of Cowbridge with a history that predates the Romans by two thousand years, I thought researching the history of Centerville, an American town that started in 1846, would be swift. I was wrong. The research has taken ten and a half years and what emerges is a story not just of Centerville but a reflection of the whole of America.” – Enfys McMurry






What people are saying about Centerville: A Mid-American Saga :

“The book is a page turner” – Dévon L.
“It’s a walk through history” – Peggy M.
“Worthy of a Pulitzer Prize…A must read for Midwestern history buffs.” – S.V.
“Magnificent” – Kris K.
“History buffs will love it” – Wm. V.
“Fantastic history” – Rebecca M.
“Superb… what a generous, readable gift to those of us from the Heartland” – C.C.
“This is an exceptional book of local history” – Philip Z.
“An amazing history… Any history buff will greatly enjoy this book!” – Gary C.
“Absolutely the most thorough historic saga I’ve ever read!” – Dewey M.
“Remarkable, fascinating, significant to… this melting pot… where our “immigration”  reform policy can learn lessons from history” – Joanne R.
“I read this after finishing David McCullough’s The Path Between the Seas. This book is every bit as good if not better” – Roger G.
“This volume is such an amazing description of persons and events, and loaded with so much factual information… it is hard to imagine that any book has better chronicled the victories, struggles, and relationships, and indeed the entire life, of a community both within its own microcosm and within the world at large… The reader cannot help but come away with awe for the scope of the panorama depicted by the author or by the vividness, color, and detail with which she has described people and events that are enshrined in the history of Centerville and its environs.” – John C.


Hearst’s Other Castle: Seren Press 1999

other castle

My father connected this medieval castle to the South Wales Electricity Grid so William Randolph Hearst could make the changes and upgrade the facilities suitable for his California guests, including Marion Davis. I became fascinated by the story when I taught the history of U.S. newspapers to my students at Indian Hills. On visits back to Wales, I interviewed many of the staff – the cooks, the butlers, the maids, the local tradesmen, the banker and pieced together the story.

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St. David’s Day in Wales“: Ninnau March 1st, 1979, Windfall 1977
Air Raid Sirens Through the Night“: Christian Science Monitor May 17th, 1989
Childhood Memories“: Ad-Express Iowegian March 2nd, 1990
A Parable for the 80′s“: Ad-Express Iowegian December 29th, 1989
“‘Got any gum, chum?’ The Yanks and England during World War IIAd-Express Iowegian November 3rd, 1989
‘Pursuit of bliss‘ will carry us to Tranquility Base… and beyondAd-Express Iowegian June 2nd, 1989
Take a tour of 39 LandmarksAd-Express Iowegian June 29th, 1990
Why Welsh native is new U.S. Citizen: A Letter to my parents.” Editorial Page The Des Moines Register June 22nd, 1988
When Hollywood Ruled Over A Welsh Castle.” Western Mail (the National Newspaper of Wales): Weekend Section August 7th, 1993.
Castles in Foreign AirSan Francisco Examiner Magazine Section, October 24th, 1999
Hearst’s Other Castle” (review by Cari Beauchamp) Architectural Digest October 1999