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Saturday March 21 2015
at 10:30am in the Reardon Smith Lecture Theatre, National Museum Wales Cardiff

Image: www.walesonline.co.uk

Gerald of Wales (c.1146–c.1223)    
A talk given by Huw Pryce, Professor of Welsh history at Bangor University

Among the statues commemorating great figures from Welsh history in the City Hall, Cardiff is Giraldus Cambrensis or Gerald of Wales. When Lloyd George unveiled these statues in October 1916 he described Gerald as ‘a complex, tumultuous character which completely fascinates anyone who meets him in the pages of history – half Norman, half Welsh, and the Welsh corpuscles in his blood waging incessant warfare on the Norman corpuscles’. Although it unlikely historians today would refer to Gerald in quite those terms, he has certainly attracted a great deal of attention from modern scholars.

This talk will assess Gerald’s career and in particular his relationship with Wales, and suggest that, despite being immortalized in marble as a famous Welshman, this characterization doesn’t do him full justice. Within Wales, his own family identity firmly aligned him with the hybrid Marcher society of Dyfed, while both his career and his literary interests extended well beyond Wales. This talk provides an overview of his life and career, assessing the significance of two of his writings: the Journey through Wales (1191) and the Description of Wales (1194).

Huw Pryce was brought up in Rhiwbina, Cardiff and educated at Jesus College, Oxford.  Since 1981 he has taught at Bangor University, becoming Professor of Welsh History in 2005. He was elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales in 2011. His research has focused on two, partly overlapping, fields: the history of medieval Wales, and the historiography of Wales (that is, how the history of Wales has been written).

His work on medieval Welsh history has been wide-ranging, and includes studies of the church, native Welsh law, literacy, notions of identity, and Gerald of Wales. He has also published many books on these areas of research. His interest in historiography grew out of work on interpretations of medieval Welsh history, and led to the writing of an intellectual biography of John Edward Lloyd (1861-1947), the pioneering historian of early and medieval Wales and a former Professor of History at Bangor. Huw will develop these interests further in a forthcoming book that examines how Welsh history has been written from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, Writing Welsh History: Medieval Legacies and Modern Narratives, to be published by Oxford University Press.
The admission charge, to include post lecture coffee and biscuits in the Oriel Suite, is £8 for tickets ordered in advance, and £10 at the door. To take advantage of the concessionary rate, please complete the slip below by Wednesday 18 March 2015 and send it with your cheque to:
Richard Carter, 5 The Close, Llanishen, CARDIFF CF14 5NG.  Tel: Landline: 029 2076 5177 Mobile 0792 1811996   
E-mail: richard.carter@friendsmuseumwales.org.uk   or   richard.carter@cyfeillionamgueddfacymru.org.uk
To minimise postal costs, no acknowledgement will be sent. Do come – and bring your friends.

Note: Talks are usually held in the Reardon Smith Lecture Theatre, commencing at 10.30 am.
Tickets for the talks, which are open to the general public, are available at the door.
Admission is £10 to include tea/coffee & biscuits following the talk. Friends who book and pay in advance will only be charged £8.

Download these details and a reservation form (you must be a Friend to obtain the concessionary rate)

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