The Oxford Literary History of Wales: Volume 3. Welsh Writing in English, 1536-1914: The First Four Hundred Years

ISBN : 9780199562831

Jane Aaron; Sarah Prescott
368 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jul 2020
Send mail

In a lecture entitled The First Forty Years: Some Notes on Anglo-Welsh Literature, published in 1957, the novelist and critic Gwyn Jones stated that Welsh writing in English 'began with Caradoc Evans in 1915'. His claim was widely accepted and proved influential in the development of Welsh writing in English as an academic subject. The primary aim of this volume is to refute that erroneous misconception, as its sub-title The First Four Hundred Years indicates. From 1536, the date of that Act which bound Wales to England, an abundance of Welsh authors chose to write in English. Some did so because their education had been entirely in English and they were not fully literate in Welsh. Others chose English with deliberate political intent, aiming to alert anglophone audiences to the social situation in Wales and persuade them of the value of the Welsh language and its literature. Their work constitutes a site of prolonged political tension, in which the pros and cons of the continuing existence of Wales are argued intensively. How far is it possible to reconfigure a self-consciousness forged under the dominion of a non-indigenous culture? This is an issue of central concern to large tracts of the worlds population today; in Wales it has for centuries featured large in English-language - as well as Welsh- language - writing. The First Four Hundred Years is also informed by social class and gender issues as it rescues from oblivion the work of many forgotten male and female writers.


1 Cambro-Britons, Anglicans and Royalists: 1536-1670
2 Evangelizing Wales: From Puritanism to Methodism, 1640-1800
3 Landscape, Place and Nation: Poetry, 1700-1760
4 Celticism to Romanticism: Poetry, 1750-1800
5 Romantic Wales: Fiction, 1770-1800
6 'The Nobles of Nature': the Rise of a Plebeian Print Culture, 1800-1830
7 Industrialization and its Discontents, 1831-1846
8 'In the Hour of Shame and Danger': Language Wars, 1847-1867
9 Young Wales and its New Women, 1868-1897
10 Revivalism and a Red Dawn, 1898-1914
Retrospect: A Flawed View Revisited

About the author: 

Emeritus Professor at the University of South Wales and Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, Jane Aaron's publications include A Double Singleness: Gender and the Writings of Charles and Mary Lamb (Clarendon Press, 1991), Pur fel y Dur: Y Gymraes yn Llen Menywod y Bedwaredd Ganrif ar Bymtheg (UWP, 1998) which won the Ellis Griffith prize in 1999, and Nineteenth-Century Women's Writing in Wales (UWP, 2007), winner of the 2009 Roland Mathias Award. Her most recent volume is Welsh Gothic (UWP, 2013). She co-edited the essay collections Our Sisters' Land: The Changing Identities of Women in Wales (UWP, 1994), Postcolonial Wales (UWP, 2005) and Gendering Border Studies (UWP, 2010), and is also editor of Welsh Women's Classics, published by Honno Press, for which she has edited five volumes. ; Sarah Prescott is Principal and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, University College Dublin and Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. She specializes in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British and Irish women's writing and pre-1800 Welsh writing in English and has published many articles and chapters in her subject field. She is the author of Women, Authorship, and Literary Culture, 1690-1740 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), Women and Poetry, 1660-1750 (with S. Prescott and D. Shuttleton, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), Eighteenth-Century Writing from Wales: Bards and Britons (UWP, 2008) and Writing Wales from the Renaissance to Romanticism (with S. Mottram and S. Prescott, Ashgate, 2012). Professor Prescott is the Principal Investigator for the Leverhulme-funded project 'Women's Poetry from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales: 1400-1800'.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.