Conley, Kassandra Leighann, “Looking towards India: nativism and orientalism in the literature of Wales, 1300-1600”, PhD thesis, Harvard University, 2014.
- PhD thesis
After the conquest of 1282, Wales increasingly fell under the dominion of England and in 1535, the first Laws in Wales Act officially annexed the country. During this period of political and legal instability, Welsh men and women fought to regain independence, a struggle that led to the development of a nascent national identity. For many authors, this identity was fundamentally rooted in the topography of Wales and the mythical histories concerning the cultivation of its land. This interest in native mirabilia corresponded with a period of increased availability of English and continental geographical treatises and travelogues that provided Welsh authors with a new vocabulary for discussing wonder. Medieval and early modern Welsh authors incorporated these exotic geographies into their accounts of native landscapes in order to differentiate Wales from England and argue for a sense of Welsh cultural exceptionalism based in its alterity.
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