history

Albania: from Stalin’s knees to pyramid schemes

December 11, 2021 0 Comments
Albania: from Stalin’s knees to pyramid schemes

Lea Ypi’s Free: coming of age at the end of history, published in 2021, is a very unusual book.  It’s at once a rite-of-passage memoir – Lea is around eight or nine years old at the start and is about to leave school for university at the end – and a child’s view of one […]

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Brwydr hir Rachel Barrett

November 19, 2021 1 Comment
Brwydr hir Rachel Barrett

Mae’n ddigon hysbys mai mudiad dosbarth canol, ar y cyfan, oedd y mudiad i ennill y bleidlais i ferched yn y DU yn ystod y blynyddoedd cyn y Rhyfel Byd Cyntaf.  Cryfder oedd hyn i’r graddau fod gan yr ymgyrchwyr y sgiliau a’r hyder i ymgyrchu, a mynediad i rwydweithiau cymdeithasol dylanwadol.  Ond golygodd absenoldeb […]

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Learning about Welsh history

November 12, 2021 6 Comments
Learning about Welsh history

Estyn has published a review of teaching Welsh history in schools, including specifically the teaching of BAME history.  It makes gloomy reading for anyone who believes that understanding where we are now in Wales, and where we might be in future, depend on a reasonable knowledge of how we got here. During the last twenty […]

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Michael Faraday watches water fall

September 10, 2021 0 Comments
Michael Faraday watches water fall

In 1819 a brilliant young chemist came to Wales on a walking tour.  He had little money – his family was poor, and he was still technically an apprentice at the age of twenty-seven – so walking was more economical than coach or horseback.  He was eager to see the country, but he had a […]

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Y cartŵn Cymraeg cyntaf?

August 20, 2021 2 Comments
Y cartŵn Cymraeg cyntaf?

Yn ôl Marian Löffler, hwn yw’r cartŵn cyntaf i ymddangos mewn print yn yr iaith Gymraeg.  Mae’n wynebddalen mewn llyfryn gan Thomas Roberts a gyhoeddwyd yn Llundain yn 1798, Cwyn yn erbyn gorthrymder. Brodor o Llwyn’rhudol Uchaf ger Pwllheli oedd Thomas Roberts.  Cyfreithiwr oedd ei dad, William.   Ganwyd e yn 1765 neu 1766, a symudodd […]

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Father Toban, the greatest scholar in the world

July 30, 2021 0 Comments
Father Toban, the greatest scholar in the world

It’s late summer, 1854.  George Borrow, walking around Wales, has arrived at Holyhead.  He stays overnight at the ‘Railway Hotel’ – reluctantly, because he detests railroads and never takes a train if he can do the same journey on foot.  In the morning he explores the town and then finds himself on the breakwater at […]

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John Thomas: lluniau confensiynol, lluniau hynod

July 24, 2021 0 Comments
John Thomas: lluniau confensiynol, lluniau hynod

Mae’n anodd astudio bywyd cymdeithasol yng Nghymru yn ystod ail hanner y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg heb droi at y drysorfa fawr o luniau, dros 3,000 ohonynt, a dynnwyd gan John Thomas, Lerpwl rhwng y 1860au a’i farwolaeth yn 1905.  Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru yw eu cartref bellach, a gallwch chi weld y mwyafrif ar wefan […]

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‘A Gentleman had just arrived, with – a black servant!’

July 16, 2021 0 Comments
‘A Gentleman had just arrived, with – a black servant!’

The gentry of eighteenth-century Wales, like most rich people in any country at any time, longed to be fashionable.  One of the rarer badges of fashion for them was to be seen as enjoying the services of a black servant.  As Chris Evans, the historian of Wales and slavery, puts it, ‘their presence spoke of […]

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The soul of a blackbird

July 9, 2021 0 Comments
The soul of a blackbird

The other day, as I was coming home from an evening walk, a strange thing happened.  I was nearing a place where the road narrows and the pavement gives out and you need to take care before crossing to the safer side.  On a small patch of grass, outside the gate of the house called […]

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Four quarters

June 18, 2021 0 Comments
Four quarters

If you move to live on the coast it doesn’t take long to discover that your world, enriched as it might be by the presence of the sea, has been reduced.  You can no longer travel in all directions, but only, at most, in three.  I learned this lesson late.  I was brought up in […]

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