Planet 234

Mary-Ann Constantine
The History of Wales in Twelve Poems
by M. Wynn Thomas, with illustrations by Ruth Jên Evans and
Hanes yn y Tir: Edrych am Hanes Cymru / History Grounded: Looking for the History of Wales by Elin Jones

Ed. Daniel G. Williams

University of Wales Press, £8.99

History isn’t what it used to be, and a good thing too. Both volumes reviewed here are the result of huge shifts in emphasis in the understanding of our perceptions of the past. Written with non-specialist audiences in mind, both draw attention to the contingent, partial, imperfect nature of historical witness. Elin Jones expresses this nicely by evoking the accidental marks events leave on our homes and our bodies – the scratches on the door where the dog always asks to go out; a scar on a knee from a fall off a bicycle. They are visible signs whose full stories remain hidden or known to very few.

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About the author

Mary-Ann Constantine is an academic who works on the culture of eighteenth-century Wales: she is currently completing a book on tours of Wales. She has also published two volumes of short stories and a novel, Star-Shot (2015).