PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
The PN Review Prize 2017 - Coming Soon
ENGLISH PEN: time to join!
English PEN relies on the support of its members and subscribers. read more
Most Read... Daniel Kaneon Ted Berrigan
(PN Review 169)
David Herdin Conversation with John Ashbery
(PN Review 99)
Henry Kingon Geoffrey Hill's Oraclau/Oracles
(PN Review 199)
Dannie Abse'In Highgate Woods' and Other Poems
(PN Review 209)
Sasha DugdaleJoy
(PN Review 227)
Matías Serra Bradfordinterviews Roger Langley The Long Question of Poetry: A Quiz for R.F. Langley
(PN Review 199)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Celebrating Tom Raworth: a feature supplement Jane Draycott's Michaux Mimi Khalvati's Sonnets Andrew Latimer talks to Alex Wong, anti-ironist John Clegg's gives us a six

This report is taken from PN Review 131, Volume 26 Number 3, January - February 2000.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

The Welsh language is the one feature that, despite the Acts of Union and the toll of centuries, distinguishes Wales from England. Pockets of Englishry, like that in south Pembrokeshire, have existed here for centuries. If, however, on the threshold of AD 2000, we look back, it should be to acknowledge that for more than nine-tenths of the previous millennia Wales was, north and south, a Welsh-speaking country. This did not escape the notice of the early English tourist in search of exotic experiences cheaper than those obtainable on the continent. In his Historical Tour Through Monmouthshire (1801), William Coxe wrote 'The inhabitants [of western Monmouthshire] unwillingly hold intercourse with the English, retain their ancient prejudices and still brand them with the name of Saxons'. Benjamin Malkin visiting the 'immense works' at Cyfarthfa, Merthyr Tydfil, noted (in The Scenery, Antiquity and Biography of South Wales, 1804) that the language of the 'workmen of all descriptions...is entirely Welsh', and J.G. Wood in his The Principal Rivers of Wales (1813) described the preindustrial Rhondda valleys as 'the wildest region of Glamorganshire, where the English language is scarce ever heard'. Even industrial south Wales retained its distinctively Welsh culture deep into the nineteenth century, while the rural west and north, outside the gates of the wealthy, landowning class, who were a miniscule minority, was yet more indelibly Welsh, preparing for its contemporary role as the precious 'heartland' of the language. It is also of considerable significance that, in contrast to the Anglican ...
Searching, please wait... animated waiting image