This is the first comprehensive account of the two decisive centuries in Welsh history which followed the defeat of Owain Glyn Dwr in 1415. In the process, surprising features emerge. The fifteenth century, the `Cinderella' of Welsh history, is seen as one of resilience and recovery from the protracted and destructive Glyn Dwr rebellion, and of the emergence of ruling gentry families, natives and settlers. The Tudor Act of Union in 1536-43
swept away the outmoded lumber of medieval times and reorientated the country. It confirmed strikingly royal authority and gentry domination but along lines that had long been anticipated. The
Renaissance and the Reformation posed not only perils but opportunities. Responding to the challenge with vigour and imagination, Welsh scholars and patriots met with marked,if not complete, success. The Welsh remained prouder and more conscious of their Welshness than has usually been thought. This was an age of outstanding personalities and achievements, as impressive as they were diverse: Owain Glyn Dwr and Henry Tudor; Guto'r Glyn and John Dee; William Herbert and Robert Devereux; Sion
Cent and William Morgan; Mathew Gough and Robert Mansel. Particular attention is given to the literature of the age, Welsh and English, prose and verse, to illustrate all aspects
of a robust, colourful, and formative era.
`It is only right that a history of Wales, even though it has to be written in English, should vibrate to the strings of the harp ... enough historical material of a less exotic kind appears in a book which, as the massive bibliography testifies, crowns the work of serried ranks of recent scholars ... This is history written with both head and heart ... a tribute both to Wales and to the most generous of its historians.'
Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies
`A comprehensive survey of his chosen field by a great master of his craft ... a book to be savoured, enjoyed, and resorted to time and time again - unquestionably the definitive late twentieth-century view of Welsh history between roughly 1415 and 1642.'
Book News From Wales
`It is gratifying to know that at last the full-scale history of Wales can now be written from the earliest times down to the modern age. Four of the six projected volumes in this excellent series have already appeared all of which give the development of the Welsh nation the treatment it fully deserves. This is an excellent volume written in a pleasant and lucid manner which makes it most enjoyable to read.'
The Historical Association
`The time-span of the volume is remarkable ... there is an interest in Europe in the survival of national identities, even in the absence of national political institutions. Those new perspectives should help to gain for this book, the fruit of a lifetime's work by a great scholar, the widespread recognition it deserves.'
English Historical Review
'The sheer intellectual energy and learning displayed in the History of Wales is a matter for wonder.'
'No reader of this book can doubt that it is a major work of historical literature, fully living up to the high standards already set in the new History of Wales series ... a magnificent account of two critical centuries of Welsh history.'
Penry Williams, New College, Oxford. Welsh History Review
'a major work of historical literature, fully living up to the high standards already set in the new History of Wales series'
T. Boyns, Cardiff