The Fall and Rise of the Welsh Bards, or, How the English Became British

  • Jeff Strabone
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Cultures of Print book series (PERCP)


This chapter explores the mutual influence of Evan Evans and Thomas Gray. The chapter begins with a history of Welsh letters, including its bardic and prophetic traditions as expressions of resistance against Saxon conquest and English empire. The early modern use of the pre-Saxon Church of the Britons, i.e. the Welsh, provides the comparative basis for identifying changes in eighteenth-century British thought regarding time and mediation. The chapter then turns to Evans’s Some Specimens of the Poetry of the Antient Welsh Bards and his discovery of Y Gododdin, which provided the raw material for Gray’s Welsh imitations. Gray’s “The Bard” is treated as a poem of Welsh prophecy. His Norse and Welsh imitations are read closely with regard to their relationship to his literary-historical researches.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeff Strabone
    • 1
  1. 1.Connecticut CollegeNew LondonUSA

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