Gripped by Six Nations fever? Wondering which team will walk triumphant from the grassy field of combat in March? And can Wales recoup last week’s loss against England and secure their favoured status once again?
Well, CRECS can’t provide the answers to these questions, but we can certainly offer an interesting and enjoyable evening of discussion and debate on Wales, in which four speakers will offer a variety of perspectives on the nation’s relationship to the Romantic period. While exhaustive work has been done on the role played by Ireland and Scotland in shaping Romantic writing, far less critical attention has been paid to Wales, despite its significant presence during the period. Indeed, during the Romantic period, Wales was seen as the heart of sensibility by some, the home of the picturesque by others and the source of enduring myths about ‘native’ British culture by many.
On Tuesday evening, four Cardiff-based scholars will address this puzzle by considering these different aspects of Wales and its Romantic context in a variety of ways:
- Looking at the concepts of borderlands and boundaries, Damian Walford Davies will argue that the Wye Valley in Monmouthshire can be seen as the cradle and crux of Romanticism itself.
- Katie Gramich will consider the enduring figure of Welsh cultural identity, the Bard, and his function in constructing Romantic fictions of native national identities.
- Jane Moore will offer a counterpoint by looking at how the ‘bard’ of Romantic Wales was not a man, but a woman: Felicia Hemans, author of best-selling poetry, whose popularity eventually led to her critical neglect, until recently.
- Wrapping up the presentations, Rob Gossedge will look at another enduring myth that overlaps with many of these concerns: the growth of Arthurian legend, and the particularly Cambrian inflection it took, during the Romantic period.
Join us for a lively evening of conversation and consideration in Cardiff University’s Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR), in the basement of the Arts and Social Studies Library. The event starts at 5.15pm on 17 February 2015. As usual, refreshments will follow after the presentations and discussion.