Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Mythology .....you couldn't make it up

"let's build some modern myths and legends"

Well that's the opinion expressed in one anonymous comment to the blog.  Now of course this implies that there are not-so-modern myths and legends, which is obviously true, although you won't find them here.

When we occasionally discuss the more than 250 year resistance of the rulers of East Central Wales to the Norman invaders, we're not making it up.  You can read all about it in the contemporary record - not so much in the works of our Welsh historians mind,  indeed the best summary is to be found in a book by the UKIP candidate for Weaver Vale.

Welsh bardic poets and their Radnorshire patrons?  Again you don't need to invent a thing, for example more than 50 of the works of Lewis Glyn Cothi addressed to Radnorshire folk have survived, as well as poems by other bards too numerous to mention.  No need to go chasing after Shelley and his brief sojourn in Cwm Elan or Wordsworth's Radnorshire cousins.  There's a far more substantial body of work relevant to us as Radnorshire folk, we don't have to search for crumbs under another man's table.

The Rebeccaite organisation of Victorian Radnorshire?  Well it clearly existed, although I'll admit that they didn't donate their minute books and papers to the National Library. 

 If you want modern myths and legends best tune in to the BBC and not just their news output.  Be guided by their costume drama department and you'd hardly guess that most of the kings of England, pre-15C, spoke French or that all those RADA accents in Jane Austen are just so much codswallop.  The Welsh? Well according to the BBC's world view we didn't even exist back then. I suppose it serves a purpose though, to inform the masses that power properly belongs to people who sound like, that's right, the lads and lasses at the BBC.

Modern myths?  I'd nominate the attempt by the heritage crowd to turn Radnorshire into Kilvert Country and, as another comment pointed out, we have the Llandoddies.  These grotesques have spawned a series of children's books - the first rather disconcertingly published by Y Lolfa - authored by one Griswallt ap Llechitwyt - hilarious name what.  There was a time Radnorians did have names that appeared strange to foreign eyes:  Angharad verch Lello Bedo ap Madock of Llanvihangell Rhidython to give just one example.  Not joke names to amuse the ill-informed, but the real names of our Radnorshire forebears.

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