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People, politics and print: a history of the English-language book in industrial South Wales, 1536-1900.

Evans, Jonathan Murray 2010. People, politics and print: a history of the English-language book in industrial South Wales, 1536-1900. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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In Wales the histories of book production and industry started following the sixteenth century Acts of Union. In 1586 print production in Wales was a collateral victim of the Star Chamber ban on regional printing. When the printing press finally arrived in Wales in the eighteenth century it was closely associated with the iron trade. The Industrial Revolution started in Wales in 1759 on the underdeveloped northern rim of the South Wales coalfield basin. The iron industry had two phases of development; when the second phase started in the 1780s South Wales was the largest iron producing region in the UK. At this time Edmund Jones wrote An Account of the Parish of Aberystruth (1779) and Apparitions of Spirits (1780), both of which document the narratives of a pre-industrial community. At the end of this period the Welsh print-trade was dominated by Nonconformist printers who were particularly hostile to the novel. Despite this opposition Twm Shon Catti, the first Welsh novel, was printed in 1828. In the 1840s, John Nixon started to sell Welsh steam-coal to the French market. The steam-coal export trade was so successful that it rapidly changed the technology and science of mining, and in consequence a number of institutions grew around the industry. Meanwhile the miners themselves were organising and they established well-stocked miners' libraries which they used to educate themselves. In this period the centre of the Welsh print-trade moved to the industrial coalfield, and as it did so the newspaper became the dominant literary form. In the 1880s, Joseph Keating worked in a number of collieries in the Aberdare Valley. While Keating is justly famous for being the first Welsh industrial novelist of the twentieth century, he wrote in the older literary tradition which has been outlined in this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
P Language and Literature > PE English
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2018 01:54

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