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This report is taken from PN Review 242, Volume 44 Number 6, July - August 2018.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams
T.J. Llewelyn Prichard gave a decade of his life to researching and writing The Heroines of Welsh History (1854), convinced that history was the highest expression of the human intellect. Meant to establish his credentials as a serious writer and provide a pension to cushion his declining years, it did neither. But there Heroines lies – a small, stout slab of a book, duodecimo, five hundred and eighty-six pages – allegedly published in London by W. & F.G. Cash, a reputable firm specialising in liberal causes such as famine relief in Ireland and slavery in the West Indies, though it is absent from their publication lists. Why Heroines you might ponder? For a brand new feminist slant on narratives hitherto dominated by warring males? To refresh and expand his reading public? To ingratiate himself with his sometime patron, that formidable dragon of Welsh culture, Lady Augusta Hall, who had given him access to her library at Llanover? Probably the last, but things fell apart between them, too late for him to recast the plan of his book. He had the last word, firing satirical blanks at her in a dedication to ‘The Virtuous Votaries of True Womanhood […] as contra-distinguished from The Fantastic Fooleries and Artificial Characteristics of Fine Ladyism’.

I set about reading Heroines to see what sort of fist he had made of it, noting, among other things, his sources (where they are acknowledged). That is how I discovered Edward Pugh’s Cambria Depicta. Looking it up as one does these days on screen, I came across a copy advertised ...

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