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Valerie Allen is Professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNYRuth Evans is Professor of English at Saint Louis University

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085062

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085062.001.0001

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Conquest, roads and resistance in medieval Wales

Conquest, roads and resistance in medieval Wales

(p.277) 12 Conquest, roads and resistance in medieval Wales

Dylan Foster Evans

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines cultural responses to roads in medieval Wales and shows that there is a growing body of evidence that roads were constructed in medieval Wales before the Edwardian conquest, despite a popular belief that roads in pre-modern Wales are scarcely worthy of note. It is argued on the basis of a variety of Welsh-language texts that roads played a significant part in the construction of identity in medieval Wales. The texts examined including native tales, the laws of Hywel Dda, and pre- and post-conquest poetry, including that of Dafydd ap Gwilym. It is argued that the road-building undertaken by Edward I’s armies resulted not only in a changed physical landscape but also in poetic reimaginings of the relationship between the Welsh community and its environment.

Keywords:   roads, Wales, Welsh language, poetry, medieval, conquest, identity, Edward I, laws of Hywel Dda, Dafydd ap Gwilym

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