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Good, but Tortuous
on 22 July 2013
Very interesting reading; a history of Wales from the Welsh perspective. Gwynfor Evans tried to get it all into one volume and just about manages it. This is the work of a truly dedicated scholar.
It is also the work of someone with deeply-held nationalist beliefs and that does taint some areas of the book in that you can feel the weight of justification of actions in terms of race which isn't always a comfortable fit.
The endless reiterating of family ties can get confusing, especially when there are no family tree illustrations to help out. Also, it sometimes feels as if the reader is expected to know who all these people are which makes the writing feel somewhat exclusive.
There are also some areas where personal religious views are brought to bear on the narrative of history where they do not belong.
Though there are dates in the margin, they do not always follow a chronological order; one chapter may be followed by another which refers back to previous dates. This gets very confusing.
The content in general is fascinating and this is an important book as a record of the history of a very significant country in British terms as well as its own. It provokes a strong argument for highlighting the study of the history of the other countries that currently constitute Britain on their own terms, instead of being lumped as "part of the nation".
I would suggest it needs quite radical re-editing and expanding in order to clarify the historical chronology and personalities. There are also one or two annoying inconsistencies in spelling.