Shakespeare and Wales

From the Marches to the Assembly

Shakespeare and Wales LOOK INSIDE
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  • Edited by Willy Maley, University of Glasgow, UK and Philip Schwyzer, University of Exeter, UK
  • Shakespeare and Wales offers a 'Welsh correction' to a long-standing deficiency. It explores the place of Wales in Shakespeare's drama and in Shakespeare criticism, covering ground from the absorption of Wales into the Tudor state in 1536 to Shakespeare on the Welsh stage in the twenty-first century. Shakespeare's major Welsh characters, Fluellen and Glendower, feature prominently, but the Welsh dimension of the histories as a whole, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Cymbeline also come in for examination. The volume also explores the place of Welsh-identified contemporaries of Shakespeare such as Thomas Churchyard and John Dee, and English writers with pronounced Welsh interests such as Spenser, Drayton and Dekker. This volume brings together experts in the field from both sides of the Atlantic, including leading practitioners of British Studies, in order to establish a detailed historical context that illustrates the range and richness of Shakespeare's Welsh sources and resources, and confirms the degree to which Shakespeare continues to impact upon Welsh culture and identity even as the process of devolution in Wales serves to shake the foundations of Shakespeare's status as an unproblematic English or British dramatist.

  • Contents: Introduction: a Welsh correction, Willy Maley and Philip Schwyzer; Shakespeare's Welsh grandmother, Kate Chedgzoy; 13 ways of looking like a Welshman: Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Philip Schwyzer; Glyn Dwr, Glendouer, Glendourdy and Glendower, David J. Baker; Rhymer, Minstrel Lady Mortimer and the power of Welsh words, Megan Lloyd; 'bastard Normans, Norman bastards': anomalous identities in The Life of Henry the Fift, Christopher Ivic; Shakespeare's 'welsch men' and the 'King's English', Margaret Tudeau-Clayton; 'O, I am ignorance itself in this!': listening to Welsh in Shakespeare and Armin, Huw Griffiths; Contextualizing 1610: Cymbeline, The Valiant Welshman, and the Princes of Wales, Marissa R. Cull; Cymbeline, the translatio imperii, and the matter of Britain, Lisa Hopkins; 'Howso'er 'tis strange…yet it is true': the British history, fiction and performance in Cymbeline, Andrew King; 'Let a Welsh correction teach you a good English condition': Shakespeare, Wales and the critics, Willy Maley; Cackling home to Camelot: Shakespeare's Welsh roots, Richard Wilson; Afterword: translating Shakespeare, Katie Gramich; Bibliography: Index.
  • About the Editor: Willy Maley, Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow, UK. Philip Schwyzer is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Exeter, UK.
  • Reviews: ‘… what is most remarkable about Shakespeare and Wales is not its ability to surprise and delight (although it does that), but the fact that it has taken this long for scholarship to recognise the centrality of Wales to Shakespeare's works… this is a collection that succeeds in throwing new light on well-thumbed plays. It puts Wales at the centre of debates about Shakespeare's attitude towards the British politics of his day - and with those politics resurfacing in our era, Shakespeare and Wales serves as a powerful reminder of the Bard of Avon's continuing relevance to the now.’ Times Higher Education

    ‘The present volume digs deeper […] with the various contributors providing much thought-provoking context for Shakespeare’s Welsh connections and the critical response to them over the years.’ Sixteenth Century Journal

    'The collection offers fresh and often surprising readings.' Shakespeare Jahrbuch, 2012