Recovery, Reorientation, and Reformation

Wales c.1415-1642
Author(s): 
Williams, Glanmor
ISBN: 
0198217331
Date published: 
January 1987
Hardback
Pages: 
542

This is the first comprehensive account of the two decisive centuries in Welsh history which followed the defeat of Owain Glyn Dwr in 1415. In the process, surprising features emerge. The fifteenth century, the `Cinderella' of Welsh history, is seen as one of resilience and recovery from the protracted and destructive Glyn Dwr rebellion, and of the emergence of ruling gentry families, natives and settlers. The Tudor Act of Union in 1536-43 swept away the outmoded lumber of medieval times and reorientated the country. It confirmed strikingly royal authority and gentry domination but along lines that had long been anticipated. The Renaissance and the Reformation posed not only perils but opportunities. Responding to the challenge with vigour and imagination, Welsh scholars and patriots met with marked,if not complete, success. The Welsh remained prouder and more conscious of their Welshness than has usually been thought. This was an age of outstanding personalities and achievements, as impressive as they were diverse: Owain Glyn Dwr and Henry Tudor; Guto'r Glyn and John Dee; William Herbert and Robert Devereux; Sion Cent and William Morgan; Mathew Gough and Robert Mansel. Particular attention is given to the literature of the age, Welsh and English, prose and verse, to illustrate all aspects of a robust, colourful, and formative era.