Wednesday, 6 October 2021
The Story of Wales
This is the first episode of a superb BBC/Open University Series about the history of Wales. It is based on Jon Gower's excellent book of the same name. I hope that the BBC will restore the series to the BBC iPlayer (which is where I first discovered it), or re-release the set of DVDs. The series opened my eyes to the depth of the riches of Welsh History - and I have consequently purchased a number of books about different aspects of that history - & have joined the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society and extended my membership of the Council of British Archaeology to CBA Wales.
There are some excellent books available on Welsh History - from John Davies' "A History of Wales", to books about specific periods or events. David Williams' book about the Rebecca Riots and Gwyn A Williams' "The Merthyr Rising" are two favourites of mine - and I'm just about to start on a book about the Newport Rising of 1839.
Welsh history does not, of course, exist in a vacuum - and the interaction between Welsh and English history is fascinating - from the conflicts that involved King Oswald and other Northumbrian Kings with other Anglo-Saxon and Welsh Kings (Max Adam's "The King in the North" is excellent) to Welsh influence on Alfred the Great and the interactions leading up to Edward I's invasion. Owain Glyndŵr has been written about by a number of writers - and this year I've managed to visit some of the sites associated with his life (Sycharth, Glyndyfrdwy, Harlech Castle and Six Ashes (which Glyndŵr sought to reach (but was blocked) - and was associated with a prophecy attributed to Merlin).