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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the spread and exchange of some key Romantic-era preoccupations across Wales and the West Country. Focusing on Bristol as a place where ideas and energies—religious, political, and creative—met and mixed, it shows how Welsh and English literary traditions were channelled into a variety of new forms, often in response to the turbulence of the 1789 revolution and the subsequent wars with France. While broad structures of thought, including Dissent, antiquarianism, and a complex relation with the metropolis, are shared across the entire area, Wales’s linguistic, cultural, and geographical differences made it, for English writers, a place of exotic and utopian possibilities. From the reimagined bardic world of the radical Iolo Morganwg to the Wales-inspired poems of Southey and Wordsworth, this chapter reveals direct connections and striking parallels in the lives and works of writers in both languages.

Keywords: Wales, Bristol, America, French Revolution, Dissent, Eisteddfod, London-Welsh, antiquarianism, tourism, utopia

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