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Title: Lady Llanover and the creation of a Welsh cultural utopia
Author: Gurden-Williams, Celyn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 9373
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
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Lady Llanover (1802-1896) was one of the most important female contributors to the nineteenth century Welsh cultural revival and although historians have paid her a certain amount of attention, her life and works have never before undergone a full study. The purpose of this thesis is to analyse her place in the history of nineteenth century Wales and to consider the view that her life's actions ultimately led her to attempt to create a Welsh cultural Utopia for the Welsh tenants on her estate at Llanover in Monmouthshire. This study is not a conventional biography and therefore not every detail of Lady Llanover's life can feature, rather this thesis thematically explores her fascination with Wales, Welsh traditions and culture in order to throw light on what became a full and life long project. This thesis will focus on Lady Llanover's tenacious personality and explore her identity. It will take into account the economic, social and political changes that occurred in nineteenth century Welsh society and consider how Lady Llanover reacted and responded to such changes. Moreover, it will ask what influenced Lady Llanover's cultural ideals and reveal how her home was transformed into a centre of Welsh cultural scholarship. It will be revealed how she used her position of power to influence others and how this became an important aspect of her campaigns to safeguard her version of Welsh culture. She famously showed a special interest in the Welsh costume, triple harp and the Welsh language and therefore no work written on her could omit a discussion of those topics but what this thesis seeks to demonstrate is that even though Lady Llanover eventually came to be regarded by some, as an obsessive eccentric, she pored her energy into creating a haven for her version of Welsh culture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available