The Cambridge History of Welsh Literature

Posted on 21 May 2019

University of Wales academics contribute to the biggest history of Welsh literature ever published


 For the first time, fifteen centuries of Welsh writing are explored, including writing in both languages, in a new book The Cambridge History of Welsh Literature, to be published on Friday, 24th May.


 The book, edited by Geraint Evans and Helen Fulton, includes chapters by three academics from the University of Wales’ Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. 

 The literature of Wales is one of the oldest continuous literary traditions in Europe – and one of its most fascinating. The earliest surviving poetry was forged in the battlefields of post-Roman Wales and the 'Old North' of Britain, and the Welsh-language poets of today still write within the same poetic tradition.

 In the early twentieth century, Welsh writers in English outnumbered writers in Welsh for the first time, generating new modes of writing and a crisis of national identity which began to resolve itself at the end of the twentieth century with the political devolution of Wales within the United Kingdom.

 Written by leading experts in the field, the book provides the first comprehensive chronological guide to fifteen centuries of Welsh literature and Welsh writing in English against a backdrop of key historical and political events in Britain.

 Professor Dafydd Johnston has written a chapter on ‘The aftermath of 1282: Dafydd ap Gwilym and his Contemporaries’; Dr Mary-Ann Constantine has written a chapter on ‘Antiquarianism and Enlightenment in the Eighteenth Century’ and Dr Elizabeth Edwards has contributed a chapter on ‘Romantic Wales and the Eisteddfod’.

 The Cambridge History of Welsh Literature will be the focus of a discussion between Geraint Evans and Helen Fulton with Gillian Clarke and Jon Gower at the Hay Festival on 24 May.


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