A History of Wales Paperback – 25 Jan 2007
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Stretching from the Ice Ages to the present day, this masterful account traces the political, social and cultural history of the land that has come to be called Wales. Spanning prehistoric hill forts and Roman ruins to the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution and the series of strikes by Welsh miners in the late twentieth century, this is the definitive history of an enduring people: a unique and compelling exploration of the origins of the Welsh nation, its development and its role in the modern world. This new edition brings this remarkable history into the new era of the Welsh Assembly.
About the Author
John Davies is a native of the Rhondda. He was educated in schools in Treorci, Bwlchllan and Tregaron and at University College, Cardiff, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He taught at the University Colleges of Swansea and Aberystwyth and was for eighteen years the Warden of Neuadd Pantycelyn, Aberystwyth. His other publications include Cardiff and the Marquesses of Bute, Hanes Cymru, Broadcasting and the BBC in Wales, The Making of Wales, The Celts and Cardiff: a Pocket Guide. He is the consultant editor of The Encyclopaedia of Wales. His wife comes from Blaenau Gwent and they have two daughters and two sons.
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That isn't the author's fault of course, and this is only 700 pages for 10,000 years of history, so perhaps it isn't surprising that much of the story behind all the tumult tumbles by largely unaddressed. Maybe nobody even knows the stories, but, as others had mentioned when I was buying the book, there does seem a lack of personality in the narrative and there are (so far) no examples of contemporary literature and art (Why not quote these few 'fabulous poems' that are all that remain? And how about some images to illustrate period artefacts and style - and its transformations?)
I'm no historian but I do live in Wales and this book (so far) is a gem. The landscape around me changes as I read, which is what I had hoped for. It's also a goldmine for sourcing places to visit, whether from the narrative or the maps of Roman settlements, mesolithic stones, etc.
Whilst it is fairly dry this is definitely a *Welsh* history of Wales. Good job, John, RIP. Thanks.
The latest edition is totally up to date.