history

The memory of Sir Thomas Picton

August 23, 2019 0 Comments
The memory of Sir Thomas Picton

One of the many noxious elements making up the miasma of Brexiter thinking is exceptionalism.  The idea that Britain is naturally superior to other countries, and that it is strong enough to stand alone against every foe, has deep roots – much deeper than the Battle of Britain, so often trundled out by politicians.  If […]

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Offa a’r Cymry

May 12, 2019 1 Comment
Offa a’r Cymry

Offa, brenin Mercia, a fu farw yn y flwyddyn 796, yw’r unig frenin Eingl-sacsonaidd y mae ei enw yn rhan o fyd ieithyddol Cymru.  A hynny am un rheswm yn unig, oherwydd ei gysylltiad â ‘Chlawdd Offa’.  Gan ein bod ni ar fin taclo’r Clawdd ar droed, neu o leiaf y rhan ddeheuol ohono, meddyliais […]

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Abaty Cymer, abaty dirgel

March 24, 2019 0 Comments
Abaty Cymer, abaty dirgel

Faint o weithiau dych chi’n gyrru’n gyflym ar hyd yr A470 o Lanelltud tua Dolgellau, gan anwybyddu’r lôn fach i’r chwith, yn syth ar ôl croesi afon Mawddach, sy’n arwain at Abaty Cymer?   Y dydd o’r blaen ymwelais â’r Abaty am y tro cyntaf.  O’r maes parcio, tro bach yw e lawr i’r afon, a’r […]

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Edward Thomas in Swansea

February 24, 2019 0 Comments
Edward Thomas in Swansea

Killed by a shell, a year short of his fortieth birthday, on 9 April 1917, at the start of the Battle of Arras, after seventeen years as a prose writer and a mere two years as one of the twentieth century’s finest poets.  The bare facts of Edward Thomas’s life conceal a complex character and […]

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The Sicilian Expedition: a second Brexit footnote

February 3, 2019 0 Comments
The Sicilian Expedition: a second Brexit footnote

After the 2016 Brexit referendum I suggested that the historian Thucydides, in the fifth century BC, can help us to understand how democracies have the capacity to change their decisions on major policies – and both the capacity and the duty to do so when those decisions are clearly, in retrospect, unwise or disastrous.  A […]

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Dilyn Iolo

January 13, 2019 0 Comments
Dilyn Iolo

Bore mwyn, di-haul o Ionawr, a dyma bedwar ohonon ni’n cychwyn ar Daith Gerdded Treftadaeth Iolo Morganwg.  Taith gylchol o ryw bedair milltir a hanner yw hon, un o gyfres o deithiau cerdded wedi’u dyfeisio gan Gyngor Bro Morgannwg, gyda help Valeways, Ramblers Bro Morgannwg a’r Undeb Ewropeaidd (cofio hwnnw?). Taith berffaith ar gyfer canol […]

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Allies against slavery: Ignatius Sancho and Laurence Sterne

January 6, 2019 0 Comments
Allies against slavery: Ignatius Sancho and Laurence Sterne

Ignatius Sancho was one of the most prominent black Britons of the eighteenth century – and without doubt the most multi-talented.  Born in Africa, according to his own account (or on board ship, according to his biographer, Joseph Jekyll), he was shipped across the Atlantic to be a slave in the Spanish colony of New […]

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Sir John Perrot: two faces of a ruffian

December 15, 2018 0 Comments
Sir John Perrot: two faces of a ruffian

One of the images included in Wales in 100 objects is a small oil painting by an unknown artist, now in Haverfordwest Town Museum, of the Elizabethan magnate Sir John Perrot.  I chose this particular portrait, painted long after Perrot’s death, because it shows its subject as a jaunty, stylish and dashing character, whereas in […]

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Indexing Gilbert White

November 10, 2018 0 Comments
Indexing Gilbert White

Selborne, Hampshire. Why we’ve never been there before I don’t know. The village isn’t far from Winchester, familiar enough territory. It’s a bit off the beaten track, though a busy B road passes through the village, channelling noise and people through the narrow main street that would have been quiet in the mid-eighteenth century, when […]

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In Bunhill Fields

November 3, 2018 3 Comments
In Bunhill Fields

This week we paid a visit to a place that’s been on my wish list for many years: Bunhill Fields. Some might think it a perverse pilgrimage, because Bunhill Fields isn’t not a rural glade or open park, but an old burial ground – the origin of ‘Bunhill’ is thought to be ‘bone hill’ – […]

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