This lively contribution to a major reassessment of nineteenth-century Wales challenges the widely-held Welsh historiography in which the contribution of the landed classes is marginalized in favour of the success of radical liberalism and nonconformity. This account of nineteenth-century Carmarthenshire emphasizes the social and political dominance of the Anglican and landowning nobility and gentry for much of the period. Matthew Cragoe explores the nature and
public roles of a governing elite, arguing that their influence was not simply a function of their members' wealth or their control of local government and the administration of the law, but had a vital ideological dimension in the aristocracy's paternalistic ethic, which found powerful and practical
expression in the 'moral economy' of the landed estate.
His clear and vigorous narrative is unerpinned by detailed analytical chapters on agriculture and rural society, the administration of law and local government, the evolving patterns of electoral politics, and the vicissitudes and advances of the Church. Frequent references to other Welsh counties and to England show how this local study has much wider interest and implications than its immediate setting. Matthew Cragoe argues for a re-evaluation of the social, political, and cultural
contributions of the Anglican aristocracy to the making of a Welsh identity in the nineteenth century.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 292
Weight: 509 g
Dimensions: 223 x 144 x 21 mm
meticulously researched book ... his detailed yet highly-readablbe account of the last flowering of the Carmarthenshire aristocracy shows them to have made a 'wide-ranging and constructive contribution to the nineteenth century Welsh society'. * Carmarthen Journal *
Cragoe's work helpfully complicates our understanding of social and cultural change in 19th-century Wales. ... those interested in the making of modern Wales will be grateful to Cragoe for making us think more systematically about the social, cultural, and political contributions of the Anglican aristocracy to the making of Welsh identities in the 19th century. * The Times Higher Education Supplement, 25 July 1997 *
His detailed anlaysis of landowning and farming, his discussion of the paternalism exercised by the aristocracy in both local government and politics, and his fascinating reconstruction of the Anglican church under bishops Thirlwall and Jones make excellent reading ... he has raised searching questions about the supposed collapse of the group in the context of a rising tide of nonconformity. * J.V. Beckett, University of Nottingham, History 83/269 *