Writing a Small Nation's Past : Wales in Comparative Perspective, 1850–1950 book cover
1st Edition

Writing a Small Nation's Past
Wales in Comparative Perspective, 1850–1950

ISBN 9781138707252
Published January 6, 2017 by Routledge
406 Pages

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Book Description

This is the first volume to examine how the history of Wales was written in a period that saw the emergence of professional historiography, largely focused on the nation, across Europe and in the United States. It thus sets Wales in the context of recent work on national history writing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and, more particularly, offers a Welsh perspective on the ways in which history was written in small, mainly stateless, nations. The comparative dimension is fundamental to the volume's aim, highlighting what was distinctive about Welsh historical writing and showing how the Welsh experience mirrors and illuminates broader historiographical developments. The book begins with an introduction that uses the concept of historical culture as a way of exploring the different strands of historiography covered in the collection, providing orientation to the chapters that follow. These are divided into four sections: 'Contexts and Backgrounds', 'Amateurs and Popularizers', 'Creating Academic Disciplines', and 'Comparative Perspectives'. All these themes are then drawn together in the conclusion to examine how far Welsh historians exemplify widespread trends in the writing of national history, and thereby point-up common themes that emerge from the volume and clarify its broader significance for students of historiography.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part 1 Contexts and Backgrounds: Writing a small nation’s past: states, race and historical culture, Neil Evans and Huw Pryce; National historiography, 1850-1950: the European context, R.J.W. Evans; J.E. Lloyd’s History of Wales (1911): publication and reception, Huw Pryce. Part 2 Amateurs and Popularizers: Failed founding fathers and abandoned sources: Edward Williams, Thomas Stephens and the young J.E. Lloyd, Marion Löffler; ’An account obtained from authentic documents’: Jane Williams (Ysgafell) as a historian, Gwyneth Tyson Roberts; A nation of nonconformists: Thomas Rees (1815-85) and nonconformist history, Prys Morgan; Outlaw historian: Owen Rhiscomyl and popular history in Edwardian Wales, John S. Ellis; ’A refreshingly new and challenging voice’: O.M. Edwards’s interpretation of the Welsh past, Lowri Angharad Hughes Ahronson. Part 3 Creating Academic Disciplines: From antiquarians to archaeologists in 19th-century Wales: the question of prehistory, Nancy Edwards and John Gould; John RhÅ·s, Celtic studies and the Welsh past, T.M. Charles-Edwards; The institutionalization of history in the University Colleges of Wales, 1880-1939: Aberystwyth and Bangor, Peter Lambert; Venturing into the ’jungle’: late medieval Wales in the Edwardian age, Ralph A. Griffiths; Town and nation: writing urban histories in 19th- and early 20th-century Wales, Paul O’Leary; Beyond 1282: A.H. Dodd and the problem of modern Welsh history, Neil Evans. Part 4 Comparative Perspectives: The fall of Rome and its aftermath from the 18th to the early 20th centuries, Ian Wood; History and the historians of medieval Catalonia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Adam J. Kosto; A forgotten anniversary: P. Hume Brown’s History of Scotland, 1911, Dauvit Broun; Robert Dudley Edwards and the uses of Catholic nationalism, Ciaran Brady; Conclusion: Welsh national history and its European context, Stefan Berger; Bibliography; Index.

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Neil Evans, Cardiff University, UK and Huw Pryce, Bangor University, UK.