Lloyd Registers

by John J. Miller on September 15, 2010 · 4 comments

in Blog Posts

  • Sumo

My article on Lloyd Alexander appears in the Wall Street Journal today. As a boy, I was aware of the Chronicles of Prydain but didn’t read them–and grew up feeling a little bit guilty about it. So a few years ago I corrected the problem by reading the series to one of my kids at bedtime. This was mostly for his sake but at least partly for my own. It felt like checking off a box.

The books hold up well, even though they’re almost half a century old. Much of this is because Alexander is a skilled storyteller. A lot of it also comes from the fact that his stories often grow out of ancient Welsh legends. They succeed now because they’ve succeeded before.

For more information on the BYU exhibit, go here. To watch the 1994 video interview, check it out in three parts: here, here, and here.

  • slarrow

    Dear Mr. Miller:

    Thanks very much for the piece on Lloyd Alexander. I love to see him getting the recognition he deserves. To give you an idea of how important his books have been to me and my wife, my seven-year-old son is named Taran.

    Why? Because ultimately, the Chronicles of Prydain are about a boy who grows up to be a man, and the pathway to manhood is full of pain and sacrifice and honor. I wanted my son to have a series of books he could read should I die early that would give him an idea of the man I wanted him to become. Lloyd Alexander wrote those books.

    I am grateful to the man for showing a pathway to nobility of character in a world that mocks the notion, and I am grateful to you for remembering the man. And I swear he looks just like Fflewddur Flam!

  • Phil

    Mr. Miller,
    I read your article on “The Black Cauldron”. Thank you for the background information on Lloyd Alexander. I loved the Prydain series as a child and was excited to see the Disney movie. Needless to say I was greatly disappointed in it. Its funny that Disney is now trying to reissue this embarrassment. I remember it as being the low point for Disney animation prior to the reanaissance which began with The Little Mermaid. This movie was the straw that broke the camel’s back and led to Don Bluth and other animators leaving and forming their own studio.

  • Peter Eberle


    Thanks for the great piece on Lloyd Alexander in the WJS. I’ve been a huge fan of those books since I was kid and even played the computer game of ‘The Black Cauldron’.

    Yet another great Miller piece showing that us conservatives can like things like DnD, music and fantasy. Keep up the good work.


  • Thank you for the write-up about Alexander. I admit I’ve never heard of him till now, and wish that wasn’t the case. Now as a grown man, I have to enter the ‘Young Adult’ section of my local bookstores to find his books. I suppose I can always use the excuse of buying the books for the niece and nephew. 😉

    While wandering the stacks a local used bookshop, I found a collection of short stories by Kenneth Morris (1879 – 1937), another fantasist who used Welsh lore for inspiration. Morris infused his writing with the teachings of the Theosophical Society, and wrote for adults rather than children. Putting Alexander’s and Morris’s work side by side might make for an interesting compare and contrast.

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