My friend Roger Boore, who died at the age of 82, was a Welsh editor and author. He will be remembered for his dedication to the Welsh language and its spread, especially among children. A chartered accountant, returning to his hometown of Cardiff in the late 1960s, and with a growing family to educate, he noticed how few children’s picture books were available in Welsh. The result was the creation of the Dref Wen publishing house.
He exploited the possibility of co-productions with European publishers to produce the best available, including Welsh versions by Tomi Ungerer, Philippe Fix, Maurice Sendak and Astrid Lindgren. He himself translated several titles of Asterix and Tintin. Other projects included Llyfr Hwiangerddi y Dref Wen (the standard collection of Welsh nursery rhymes) and Y Geiriadur Lliwgar (the illustrated Welsh dictionary for children).
Roger was passionate about the Welsh language and learned it as a teenager. In 1997 he received the Mary Vaughan Jones Award for his outstanding contribution to children’s books in Wales. He was inducted into the Gorsedd y Beirdd, a Welsh speaking society of poets, musicians and others who have contributed to the language and public life in Wales, in 2016, again for his publishing services.
Roger won the 1971 National Eisteddfod of Wales short story competition and the 1972. Pantyfedwen Eisteddfod prose medal. He has written a short story collection, a children’s novel, and a groundbreaking five-book travel book series.
Born in Cardiff, Roger was one of three children of Walter Boore, a partner in a Birmingham sanitary brass factory, and later novelist, and Bronwen (née Davies), also a writer. Soon after, the family moved to Leamington Spa. Roger attended Warwick School and won a major open scholarship in Classics to Jesus College, Oxford, where he met Anne Caswell; they married in 1964. In 2005 he obtained a doctorate in history from the University of Wales.
An accomplished linguist, Roger was fluent in French and Spanish, and reading classics was something he pursued until the end of his life. Slightly annoying, he had an ironic sense of humor of rare subtlety; one that could sometimes be interspersed with quotes from Suetonius or Cicero. She was an extraordinarily cerebral, modest and kind person. He loved traveling, books, digging in his garden and, most importantly, his family. His annual highlight was playing beach cricket with them in Pembrokeshire.
Roger is survived by Anne, their sons Gwilym, Rhys and Alun, seven grandchildren and his sisters Jennifer and Bronwen.