Romanticising Rebecca: Reinterpreting the Mid-Nineteenth Century Revolts of Mid and South-West Wales

The nineteenth century was a time of significant change across rural Wales. Plagued with socio-political unrest, a series of factors laid the foundations for a series of uprisings known as the Rebecca Riots. The upper classes controlled all government and local parliaments, allowing for oppressive laws to be introduced and passed without resistance. The Turnpike … Read more

The Swansea-Mannheim city partnership and German impressions of Swansea University over the years

In an earlier blogpost I sketched the history of the city partnership between Swansea and Mannheim (Baden-Württemberg, Germany), from its establishment in the 1950s. That blog focused in particular on the creation of a monument to the partnership, a miniature replica of the German city’s main landmark, which was erected in Swansea in 1985. Since … Read more

The Curious Case of Ted Dexter and Cardiff South East

Sam Blaxland The former England cricket captain, Ted Dexter, died on 26th August 2021, aged 86. This article, about a peculiar event in his career, originally featured in the 2016 edition of the Conservative History Journal. In 1964 the electorate of Cardiff South East faced the unusual situation of having the England cricket captain as … Read more

How Beano and Dandy artist Dudley D. Watkins made generations of comic fans roar with laughter

David Anderson, Swansea University You may not be familiar with the name Dudley Dexter Watkins, but chances are you will recognise his art. Half a century after his death, the work of the talented British comic strip artist and illustrator is as well known, and as much loved, as it has ever been. Characters such … Read more

The perpetual evolution of a research project: Challenging Occupational Generalisations of the ‘Other’ in a Nineteenth-Century Welsh Industrial Community

Dissertations are the culmination of an exhilarating journey which invariably demands days lost to fascinating yet redundant research, but which is also rich with discovery and presents fresh perspectives of the world we thought we knew. This construction of history as we know it became central to my research. How have we interpreted our past, … Read more

An Introduction to the French and Indian War (1754-60)

The French and Indian War (1754-1760) was the last of the intermittent colonial conflicts that had erupted between Britain, France, their respective North American colonies and Native American allies during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Unlike the conflicts that had preceded it, the French and Indian War proved decisive, resulting in the conquest of … Read more

Attitudes to Death and Dying During the Reformation

The Reformation had a great impact on many aspects of daily life and lived religion. It proposed to alter a system of rituals and worship that had evolved over centuries and which promised to ensure a better future in the afterlife; the Reformation denied established culture and brought the fate of many souls into jeopardy … Read more

The Welsh and Empire: Early Reflections on India

The persistent legacies of colonial domination have become a flashpoint in recent years. On the one hand, movements like Black Lives Matter and Rhodes Must Fall have provided a platform through which we can analyse how structural hangovers from imperialism continue to impact on the lives of underrepresented groups. On the other, that observation alone … Read more

The Middle Ages at the Great Exhibition of 1851

On 1 May 1851 – almost exactly 170 years ago – the Great Exhibition first opened its doors to the public. Housed in Hyde Park, in the vast temporary structure that was quickly christened the Crystal Palace, the exhibition remained open until 15 October. During that time, it attracted millions of visitors, many of whom … Read more

The Medieval Economy of Wales

Dr Matthew Stevens’ book, The Economy of Medieval Wales, 1067-1536 has been attracting some glowing reviews recently. The book examines the economy of Wales from the first Norman intrusions of 1067 to the Act of Union of England and Wales in 1536. Key themes include the evolution of the agrarian economy; the foundation and growth … Read more