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This report is taken from PN Review 202, Volume 38 Number 2, November - December 2011.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
Recently (in PNR 200), I quoted from a letter David Jones wrote to The Times in June 1958 concerning the Welsh language. The loss of Welsh, he said, would impoverish England, 'for the survival of something which has an unbroken tradition in this island since the sixth century, and which embodies deposits far older still, cannot be regarded as a matter of indifference by any person claiming to care for the things of this island. It is by no means a matter for the Welsh only, but concerns all, because the complex and involved heritage of Britain is a shared inheritance which can, in very devious ways, enrich us all'. Worthy of repetition as it is, I would not so soon have brought it up again if I had not come across a very similar statement from an unexpected source: 'Welsh is of this soil, this island, the senior language of the men of Britain; and Welsh is beautiful... It is the native language to which in unexplored desire we should still go home.' These are the words not of a Welshman, nor of someone, like David Jones, consciously half-Welsh though born a Londoner. They were spoken at a public lecture in Oxford in 1925 by one who considered himself not simply English, but Mercian (which I have now learned means 'of the March'), or better still, Hwiccian, that is, belonging to a kingdom corresponding roughly to modern Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and part of Warwickshire, which was annexed by Mercia in the ...


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