From Iron Age to Iron Lady, a Totally New Look at Welsh History

Article excerpt


IT'S Wales - but not as we know it.

Tomorrow, the Western Mail launches the New History of Wales - a groundbreaking series of articles taking an entirely fresh look at our past.

A panel of leading academics have joined forces with the Western Mail to compile a 25-part series of articles which will run daily, beginning tomorrow with a special edition of our weekend magazine.

The series examines whether, for example, we Welsh really are descended from the Celts, or whether anti-social behaviour is a truly modern invention, and explores the surprising role Wales played in the Cold War.

Other subjects tackled range from whether the Industrial Revolution was largely focused on South Wales to whether Hollywood icon Richard Burton really deserved his reputation as a hellraising womaniser.

Our academics turn much of the received wisdom about Wales, and its world role, on its head.

Professor Huw Bowen, of Swansea University, is co-ordinating the project for the Western Mail on behalf of History Research Wales.

He said: "Historians don't often get the chance to publish their work in a newspaper, so this groundbreaking series presents us with a great opportunity to reach out to a large public audience.

"The people of Wales have always had a keen interest in the nation's history. We hope that readers are excited by the new thinking and research findings that are evident in these articles written by leading specialists.

"Above all, we hope that they are inspired to find out more about their past, from the Iron Age to the Iron Lady.

"The new history of Wales re-examines Welsh history in a fresh and thought-provoking way.

"This is no simple beginning-to-end history of Wales, but instead the series offers a challenge to many of the widely-held myths and misunderstandings that exist about Welsh history."

Western Mail editor Alan Edmunds said: "We're incredibly excited to be presenting The New History of Wales in the Western Mail. …