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Title: Identity, language and landscape in Early Modern literature from Wales and the Marches
Author: Williams, Owain
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 1915
Awarding Body: Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2018
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Many studies on Welsh Writing in English dismiss texts from before the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: my thesis adds to the growing field of scholarship on pre-nineteenth century Welsh Writing in English, which primarily focuses on eighteenth century texts, to show the need to also be inclusive of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Sixteenth and seventeenth-century Wales was a very different country from what it would become in later centuries, owing to its relative autonomy under the administrative jurisdiction of the Council of Wales and the Marches and its legendary status resulting from the legacy of Geoffrey of Monmouth. As a result, Welsh Writing in English from this period of time is different than that from later eras; it is about a country finding its place in a still relatively recent political union. The texts discussed include English translations of the Latin texts of Humphrey Llwyd and John Owen, as well as English language writing by David Powel, Henry Vaughan and Morgan Llwyd. While all of these writers were born in Wales, I will also consider the writing of two non-Welsh writers based in or around Wales, Katherine Philips (often described as an ‘English exile’ in Wales) and Thomas Churchyard, from the nebulous borderland region of the Marches who has been likened to a ‘ventriloquist’. The first chapter concerns itself with Humphrey Llwyd’s The Breviary of Britain and the way in which Llwyd uses chorography in order to depict the landscape and language of Wales. Chapter two’s focus will be on David Powel and his Historie of Cambria where I will analyse how Powel depicts the history and culture of Wales, while also circumnavigating the politics surrounding his patron, Lord Sidney, and the Council of Wales and the Marches. In the third chapter, I examine the poetry of Henry Vaughan and Morgan Llwyd, two seventeenth-century poets of opposing religious and political ideologies, from their regional contexts in Brecknockshire and Wrexham respectively. The fourth chapter inspects the way in which Thomas Churchyard’s Worthines of Wales and the poetry of Katherine Philips reflect perceptions of Wales during their particular eras in order to see what impact Wales had on the socio-political fabric of the islands. Finally, in the fifth chapter I explore several different English translations of the epigrams of John Owen, an ex-recusant Welsh poet who had moved to England, to assess to what extent translation affected the meaning of Owen’s repertoire: this chapter focuses on the epigrams that most concern Wales. My aim in this thesis is to investigate the ways in which Welsh identity manifests itself in writing landscape, language, history, religion, myth and politics, as well as through hiraeth – a feeling associated with sadness and nostalgia for what has been lost – in order to establish a body of texts for early modern Welsh Writing in English.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available