Welsh Recusant Writings

Welsh Recusant Writings

by Geraint Bowen


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The word recusant was originally used to describe those Catholics whose names were entered on registers because of their refusal to attend Anglican services during the reign of Elizabeth I, but the term “recusant writings” covers writing by Catholics, whether open or covert. For more than a hundred years after the accession of Elizabeth in 1588, the publication of Catholic books was prohibited by law. Geraint Bowen’s book is the first to be published on writing by Welsh recusants.

Welsh recusant writing, published abroad, on secret presses at home, or, as was often the case, remaining in manuscript, was not confined to works of Catholic devotion and dogma. The Tudor period witnessed important and far-reaching developments in Welsh scholarship and literature, and the first contributions to this development were made by exiled Catholics. The enforced residence abroad, particularly in Italy, of men like Morys Clynnog, Gruffydd Robert, Sion Dafydd Rhys and Owen Lewis gave them access to Renaissance learning and to the knowledge and enthusiasm of its most notable exponents. The humanist belief that the vernacular could be elevated to the status and dignity of the classical languages led the exiles to attempt to achieve that standing for the Welsh Language.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780708315156
Publisher: University of Wales Press
Publication date: 02/17/1999
Series: University of Wales Press - Writers of Wales Series
Pages: 87
Product dimensions: (w) x (h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Geraint Bowen was born in Llanelli in 1915 and educated at Aberaeron Grammar School and University College, Cardiff, where he took his master's degree and doctorate.  He won the Chair at the 1946 National Eisteddfod of Wales.  He taught at Ruabon Grammar School from 1947 until 1961 and was appointed HM Inspector of Schools.  From 1975 until 1977 he edited Y Faner and he was appointed Archdruid of Wales in 1978 and visiting professor at Ottawa University in 1983.  He has edited Y Traddodiad Rhyddiaith (3 vols), Ysgrifennu Creadigog, Y Drych Kristnogawl, Y Gwareiddiad Celtaidd, and Atlas Meirionnydd; and his publications include Hanes Gorsedd y Beirdd (joint author), Golwg ar Orsedd y Beirdd, Bro a Bywrd W. J. Gruffydd, Bwyd Llwy o Badell Awen (A Manual on Welsh Metrics), a biography, O Groth y Ddaear, and a volume of collected poems, Cerddi.

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