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Footsteps of Liberty and Revolt

Essays on Wales and the French Revolution

All of Europe was swept up in the events of the French Revolution and the radical restructuring of society that occurred in its aftermath. This collection of essays by leading academics explores how Welsh clerics, diplomats, singers, poets, journalists, and soldiers—many of whom traveled to Paris to witness the conflict firsthand—responded to the Revolution.

352 pages | 9 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2013

Wales and the French Revolution

History: European History

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“A fillip to (so-called) ‘four nations’ engagements with the period, Footsteps of Liberty and Revolt reveals Wales to have been a dynamic player in the great ideological debate occasioned by the French Revolution. Offering culturally and linguistically plural views—a nuanced cartography—the essays in this collection show how invention, customization, and translation gave the master themes of the age a specifically Welsh modality. Profiled here are the broad range of forms and positions taken by Welsh responses (indigenous and expatriate) to revolution, from ‘piping hot’ radicals to horrified reactionaries, from sermons to songs, poems to pamphlets. Also conjured are the human stories that remind us that the Revolution’s ‘big ideas’ were not merely theoretical, but had profound consequences on the ground. Above all, Wales emerges here as vitally connected—a vigorous agent in a European and Atlantic controversy whose inheritors we are.”

Damian Walford Davies, Aberystwyth University

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Contributors
List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction: Writing the Revolution in Wales
      May-Ann Constantine and Dafydd Johnston
2. Wales as Nowhere: the tabula rasa of the ‘Jacobin’ imagination
      Caroline Franklin
3. Rousseau and Wales
      Heather Williams
4. ‘Our first concern as lovers of our country must be to enlighten it’: Richard Price’s response to the French Revolution
      Paul Frame and Geoffrey W. Powell
5. The Welsh in Revolutionary Paris
      Mary-Ann Constantine
6. The ‘Marseillaise’ in Wales
      Marion Löffler
7. The ‘Rural Voltaire’ and the ‘French madcaps’
      Geraint H. Jenkins
8. Networking the nation: the bardic and correspondence networks of Wales and London in the 1790s
      Cathryn A. Charnell-White
9. Radical adaptation: translations of medieval Welsh poetry in the 1790s
      Dafydd Johnston
10. ‘Brave Republicans’: representing the Revolution in a Welsh interlude
      Ffion Mair Jones
11. ‘A good Cambrio-Briton’: Hester Thrale Piozzi, Helen Maria Williams and the Welsh sublime in the 1790s
      Jon Mee
12. What is a national Gothic?
      Murray Pittock
13. Terror, treason and tourism: the French in Pembrokeshire 1797
      Hywel M. Davies
14. The voices of war: poetry from Wales 1794–1804
      Elizabeth Edwards
15. The Revd William Howels (1778–1832) of Cowbridge and London: the making of an anti-radical
      Stephen K. Roberts


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