Harris, James, “Language, historical culture and the gentry of later Stuart Cornwall and south-west Wales”, Historical Research 95:269 (August, 2022): 348–369.
- journal article
- DOI: 10.1093/hisres/htac004
This article considers how gentry antiquarian communities in later Stuart Cornwall and south-west Wales constructed distinctive local identities. It focuses on four case studies: William Scawen, the West Penwith coterie, Edward Lhuyd and the Teifi Valley group. These antiquaries conceived of the Cornish and the Welsh as ‘ancient Britons’ and established them as historically and culturally distinct from the English, usually through reference to their indigenous languages. However, the reception of their work among wider landed society was shaped by the vitality of each respective language (with still-ubiquitous Welsh contrasting with near-extinct Cornish). By exploring the relationship between intellectual culture and identity formation, the article contributes to a broader understanding of the various and overlapping identities that permeated the British archipelago.
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