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Distributed for University of Wales Press

The Language of the Blue Books

Wales and Colonial Prejudice

In The Language of the Blue Books, Gwyneth Tyson Roberts examines the Reports of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of Education in Wales, published in 1847. This report, also known as the “Treachery of the Blue Books,” castigated the Welsh working class as ignorant, lazy, and immoral. Roberts analyzes the historical, social, and political contexts within which this report was published, arguing that its choice and use of language undermines its own claims to authority and objectivity.

260 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1998

History: European History

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Table of Contents


Part I: The Background
1. The English view of Wales and the Welsh before 1847
2. Education, religion and language in Wales before 1847
3. Attitudes to language
4. Official language
Part II: The 1847 Report
5. The Commissioners
6. The Commissioners’ assistants
7. The role of education
8. Teachers and schoolrooms
9. Social and living conditions
10. Cleanliness and morality
11. Girls and women
12. Religion
13. Wales and the Welsh: land and people
14. The English and Welsh languages
Part III: The Aftermath
15. Reaction in Wales
16. Reactions from England


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