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The Cambridge History of Welsh Literature
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Book description

The literature of Wales is one of the oldest continuous literary traditions in Europe. The earliest surviving poetry was forged in the battlefields of post-Roman Wales and the 'Old North' of Britain, and the Welsh-language poets of today still write within the same poetic tradition. In the early twentieth century, Welsh writers in English outnumbered writers in Welsh for the first time, generating new modes of writing and a crisis of national identity which began to resolve itself at the end of the twentieth century with the political devolution of Wales within the United Kingdom. By considering the two literatures side by side, this book argues that bilingualism is now a normative condition in Wales. Written by leading scholars, this book provides a comprehensive chronological guide to fifteen centuries of Welsh literature and Welsh writing in English against a backdrop of key historical and political events in Britain.


'As crammed with as many riches as a dragon’s cave. Objective, superbly researched, it is the best book ever published about my homeland.'

Roger Lewis Source: Daily Telegraph

'This is a book to welcome warmly - the first comprehensive treatment for a general English-speaking readership of a still vital and diverse literary world.'

Rowan Williams Source: New Statesman

'… [The] Cambridge History of Welsh Literature offers a reassuring sense of cultural continuity-of a once and future Wales perpetually being reconstructed and reinvented in the literary imagination.'

José Lanters Source: Journal of British Studies

'An exceptional collection which, while spanning the entire vista of Welsh writing from the pre-medieval to the modern, remains lucid, readable and incisive.'

Alex Diggins Source: Times Literary Supplement

‘… this is an attractive and well-produced book … it is a well-written and generally well-organised volume … The authors are leaders in their field, and the editors are to be congratulated on having skilfully brought together a complex and multifaceted subject area in a practical and valuable work, which sets a new standard for such treatment.’

Sara Elin Roberts Source: Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland

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