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“With noble and notable exceptions, historians often represent Wales between 1776 and 1871 as little more than a backward religious gulag. In seven chapters devoted to various aspects of Welsh social life, including the vital but often overlooked one of ‘Happiness and Humour’, Mr Davies revises that narrow view. In doing so, he reveals for us the true diversity of Welsh life in his chosen period; a revelation given added authority by his having researched both Welsh and English language sources . . . There is a lot of hope and heartbreak in these pages and in describing it Mr Davies has, by his enthusiasm and scholarship, written a book that is a cornucopia; an invaluable resource to both the dilettante browser and the ardent scholar. But above all his work restores to a little known period of Welsh history its rich and colourful humanity.” –

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