This is a chronological account of approximately two dozen periodicals relating to Wales between 1882 and 2012 which focused substantially on literature and matters literary (the number is necessarily imprecise because some vanished and then reappeared, with the same name but different editors and different literary, cultural and political perspectives).
The introduction considers how the history of these periodicals relates to overlapping traditions of Welshness, Britishness and Englishness and to their potential readerships; the more detailed consideration which follows ranges from The Red Dragon, first published in 1882 (education through the the medium of English had expanded substantially in the previous decade, and the 1891 Census showed that nearly 70% of the population of Wales could speak English) to the current incarnations of Planet and The New Welsh Review as well as other, more recently founded, periodicals. En route it traces the ways in which the nature and balance of the content of these periodicals shifted under different editors with different political, literary and cultural perspectives, who responded to changing times in Wales, Britain and the rest of the world; it also discusses the effect of changes in the periodicals' source of funding, from The Welsh Outlook (founded and funded in 1914 by Lord Davies, son and heir of the rich self-made industrialist David Davies of Llandinam) to Dock Leaves (which held a combined 'fête, sale of work, tea party, writers' convention and funfair' every year in the mid-1950s to raise the money for one of its three annual issues) to later periodicals which relied (and rely) on grants from the Welsh Arts Council and (latterly) the Welsh Books Council.
The book will be a particularly valuable resource for those interested in tracing the early career of notable writers who often continued to publish their work in these periodicals after they became well established; contributors to these periodicals included Dannie Abse, Brenda Chamberlain, Rhys Davies, Christine Evans, Emyr Humphreys, Owen Sheers, John Tripp, Dylan and R. S. Thomas and Gwyneth Vaughan, among many others. It provides a very welcome account of an area of Anglophone Welsh writing and publication which is often neglected or undervalued.
It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Introduction: ‘The New Old; Old New’
1. The Liberal Miscellanies: 1882-1914
2. The independent Periodicals: 1914-1969
3. The Late Twentieth century: 1969-2012
Malcolm Ballin is an Independent Researcher based at Cardiff University. He specialises in periodical literature in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. His book, Irish Periodical Culture, was published in 2008.
Welsh Periodicals in English celebrates the contribution of English-language periodicals to the careers of Welsh writers (from Lewis Morris to Owen Sheers) and to the practice of their editors (from Charles Wilkins (1882) to Emily Trahair (2012)). These periodicals have helped to create an active Anglophone public sphere in Wales and continue to stimulate discussion on a wide range of topics: tensions between tradition and continuity; the role of magazines in developing new writers; gender issues; relations with Welsh-language journals; the involvement of the periodicals in social and political issues, and their contribution to cultural developments in Wales. A detailed study of the design, content and editorial practice of the periodicals is illuminated by discussions with living editors, and the book concludes with a discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary productions and a comparison with their successful equivalents in Ireland.