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Special issue - Welsh History

The Economy of Medieval Wales, 1067-1536 / Matthew Frank Stevens

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Review Date: 23 October 2020

This is an important and valuable book. Many works of economic history include the word ‘Wales’ in a sub title or index but relatively few have engaged with the relatively sparse sources and unfamiliar context (to most English historians) of the royal shires—the north and west—and Marcher lordships—the south and east—that characterise Wales after the conquests of Edward I.


A Little Gay History of Wales / Daryl Leeworthy

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Review Date: 23 October 2020

In January 1988, hundreds of people gathered in Cardiff for a rally organised by ‘Wales Against Clause 28’. Held aloft ‘were signs identifying the places the mainly lesbian and gay marchers had lived and where they were from to disprove the popular notion that “there were no gays in Wales”.’ (p.


Welsh Missionaries and British Imperialism: The Empire of Clouds in North-east India / Andrew May

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Review Date: 21 July 2016

Missionaries are no strangers to students and researchers of the British Empire. The hackneyed image of the rough-hewn Anglican vicar preaching salvation, Christ, and colonialism to legions of natives is one of the enduring archetypes of British colonialism. This image, like so many similar ones, is not without basis in historical fact. Missionaries played a notable role in British imperial expansion and colonial rule.


Welsh Soldiers in the Later Middle Ages / Adam Chapman

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Review Date: 25 February 2016

Who was the Welsh soldier of the late Middle Ages? What was the world from which he emerged, and for whom, and against whom, did he fight? Can it be claimed that he made a significant contribution to the way wars were fought during this period? Questions such as these are raised, discussed and answered in Adam Chapman’s new study, the latest in Boydell’s ‘Warfare in…


Women, Agency and the Law, 1300-1700 / eds. Bronach Kane, Fiona Williamson

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Review Date: 23 April 2015

This well-crafted volume of ten essays is an important contribution to the growing body of research on women and law in England the pre-modern period. Each essay examines a different aspect of women’s interactions with the law (broadly defined and encompassing both secular and ecclesiastical courts) and, as suggested in the title, foregrounds their agency.


Gender, Nation and Conquest in the High Middle Ages: Nest of Deheubarth / Susan M. Johns

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Review Date: 19 June 2014

Nest of Deheubarth, a 12th-century Welsh princess, has a presence well beyond academic history and interests. She was one of the most famous Welsh princesses and over the centuries has had a significant impact on Welsh history and identity.


Claiming the Streets: Processions and Urban Culture in South Wales, c. 1830-1880 /

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Review Date: 02 May 2013

Paul O’Leary’s Claiming the Streets: Processions and Urban Culture in South Wales, c.1830–1880 provides a detailed and lively account of mid 19th-century processional culture. It takes us on a journey through Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath and Swansea and investigates the diversity and complexity of street procession in these towns.


Wales since 1939 / Martin Johnes

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Review Date: 20 September 2012

Martin Johnes is an industrious historian of 20th–century Wales, and has published extensively on topics such as sport, national identity, the 1966 Aberfan disaster and the civic history of Cardiff.(1) Wales since 1939 is a fusion of several of these endeavours (and more), and one which has produced an integrated and fresh perspective on modern Wales.


Wales and the British Overseas Empire: Interactions and Influences, 1650-1830 / ed. Hugh Bowen

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Review Date: 16 August 2012

The mid-1980s saw the launch of the ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series. As outlined by the general editor, John M. MacKenzie, the main concept behind this has been that ‘imperialism as a cultural phenomenon has as significant an effect on the dominant as on the subordinate societies’.


Labour’s Crisis: Plaid Cymru, The Conservatives, and the Decline of the Labour Party in North-West Wales, 1960-1974 / Andrew Edwards

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Review Date: 01 February 2012

It wasn’t so long ago that British labour historiography was dominated by more or less celebratory accounts of the career of the Labour Party. As its title suggests, though, Andrew Edwards’ book is a sure sign that the times have changed.


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This special issue was curated by Sadie Jarrett, EHS Postan Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research. It showcases the breadth of research undertaken on Wales, incorporating studies looking at the Middle Ages to the present day. Some of these works focus on case studies to highlight wider narratives, while there are also broader accounts of people and places, including the medieval Welsh economy and Wales’ place in the British Empire. The selection emphasises that Welsh history is a vibrant and dynamic field which makes important contributions to British, European, and world history.  

Special issues

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