Friday, July 17, 2009

Taking the Waters

Someone really should republish this charming little book, which describes a journey to Llandrindod Wells in 1744.

Of particular interest to me are the descriptions of the linguistic position in Radnorshire at the time. In Knighton there was little Welsh spoken but by Bleddfa an old man could speak no English. Between there and Llanfihangel Rhydithon there was little Engish except for an innkeeper who spoke the language "indifferent good". A visit to Builth market heard only the occasional word of English on the bustling streets, and was followed by colourful descriptions of country dances held at the parish wakes of Diserth and Aberedw. Again everywhere was Welsh but with examples of the bilingualism which would be the forerunner of later language shift.

A witty book in which even the occasional anti-Welsh comment seems penned to reflect more on English prejudice rather than native vice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I must agree it needs publishing. Everything about Radnorshire does. I wonder if Kilvert read it ?