Posted on 23 September 2011
Edward Williams, better known as Iolo Morganwg (1747-1826), was the creator and father of the Gorsedd – a unique community of Welsh bards. A leading collector and expert on medieval Welsh literature in his day, his life has had a lasting impact on Welsh culture. It is therefore fitting that his legacy should continue to be revisited and celebrated by academics and writers across the Celtic nations.
The Prince of Welsh Romantics: Iolo Morganwg and his legacy is a lecture free to interested members of the public, to be held on 7 October at 7pm in Cowbridge Comprehensive School. Delivered by Professor Emeritus Geraint H Jenkins (DLitt FLSW FBA), the lecture will explore Morganwg’s fascinating journey from Stonemason to Literary forger; how his forgeries helped develop an elaborate mystical philosophy which he claimed represented a direct continuation of ancient druidic practice, long thought to have died with the destructive legacy of the Roman invasion; how his philosophy - a combination of Christian and Arthurian influence - and prolific writing helped reassert the Welshness of an increasingly anglicised South Wales.
Professor Jenkins is former Director of the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS), Aberystwyth. Also previously Professor and Head of the Department of Welsh History at the then University of Wales, Aberystwyth, he is the author of more than thirty books and over a hundred articles on a wide variety of subjects. He has written particularly extensively on the history of early modern and modern Wales. A strong believer in collaborative research projects, he is the general editor of three successful series: ‘A Social History of the Welsh Language’, ‘The Visual Culture of Wales’ and ‘Iolo Morganwg and the Romantic Tradition in Wales’, all of which are published by the University of Wales Press. In 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy and is currently a member of the Council of the British Academy.
The lecture is being held to raise awareness for the 2012 Vale of Glamorgan National Eisteddfod (4-11 August).
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