Planet Online

John Osmond reviews
My Histories and
Revolution to Devolution: Reflections on Welsh Democracy
both by Kenneth O. Morgan

My Histories

UWP, £24.99

By his own admission Kenneth O. Morgan has been an exceedingly fortunate man. He was fortunate to be born in 1934 and to have lived through a fascinating historical period. The timing also meant he missed national service in a series of wars and grew up during a period of affluence and educational opportunity. Towards the end of his absorbing and highly readable memoirs Morgan remarks, ‘I have not known one day without paid work since I left university, and this continues in my eighties’. At key moments in his life he has also experienced compelling strokes of luck. Not the least of them occurred in the summer of 1955 when, as a newly qualified Oxford history graduate worrying about a research topic for his doctorate, he met with David Williams, Professor of Welsh History at Aberystwyth. They spoke for a few hours, at the end of which Williams told him, ‘Really, Kenneth, your subject is Wales in British Politics’. As Morgan says, ‘That was the most important academic conversation I had with anyone in the whole of my life, my Damascus road’.

Sign in to read more
Subscribe here