Sex, Sects and Society

’Pain and Pleasure’: A Social History of Wales and the Welsh, 1870-1945

Russell Davies

Sex, Sects and Society

Russell Davies

Distributed for University of Wales Press

448 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2018
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9781786832139 Published August 2018 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9781786832146 Will Publish October 2019 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
In an extended account of national identity, this second volume of Pain and Pleasure provides the first detailed study of the sexual and spiritual life of Wales in the period 1870–1945. Russell Davies argues that although Wales and its people experienced a disenchantment of the spiritual world during this time, a sexual revolution also was taking place. This innovative study examines how advances in life expectancy and improvements in health were reflected in emotional life and, though the Welsh have been long regarded as emotionally repressed, it shows that they were in reality a free and fun-loving people to contrast the traditional emphasis upon hardship and hardscrabble experiences. Educational and entertaining, Sex, Sects and Society offers a detailed study of the contradictions and complexities of the Welsh national identity.
 
Review Quotes
Professor Geraint H. Jenkins, former Director of the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies
"Russell Davies has written an enthralling book which defies convention by focusing on how the obsession with pain and death, moral excess and squeamishness, black humour and disenchantment became an integral part of the welsh psyche in modern times. He has become an expert in peeping into nooks and crannies which historians either deliberately or inadvertently avoid."
Dr Martin Johnes, Swansea University
"Russell Davies is a welcome voice in Welsh history. He steps beyond the normal categorisations and allows a picture of Wales to emerge full of human vitality, complexity and frailty. His history is not one that looks solely for evidence of Welsh distinction and labour heroism, but rather one that explores the lived Welsh experiences in all their variety."
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