Domestic Life in Wales
|ISBN: 9780708317464 (0708317464)Publication Date July 2002|
Publisher: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru / University of Wales Press, CardiffEdited by Beth Thomas
Format: Paperback, 238x170 mm, 184 pages
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A collection of eight comprehensive articles exploring the role of women in Welsh domestic life, based on oral evidence collected by the author, a pioneering researcher in the field of women's studies during her career at the Museum of Welsh Folk Life, St Fagans. 64 black-and-white illustrations.
Casgliad o wyth erthygl gynhwysfawr yn archwilio swyddogaeth merched ym mywyd y teulu Cymreig, yn seiliedig ar dystiolaeth lafar a gasglwyd gan yr awdures, ymchwilydd arloesol ym maes astudiaethau merched yn ystod ei gyrfa yn Amgueddfa Werin Cymru yn Sain Ffagan. 64 llun du-a-gwyn.
S. Minwel Tibbott died before she had completed editing the articles that constitute this book, and the work was concluded by Beth Thomas, Keeper of Social and Cultural History at the Museum of Welsh Life, St Fagan's, where Sara Minwel Tibbott spent many years researching and recording oral traditions of domestic life.
I have known and admired her work since acquiring Amser Bwyd, published in 1974. Although she began by gathering information about the preparation and cooking of food in various parts of Wales, her interests extended to other domestic tasks such as laundry and knitting, which are also represented in this book.
Mrs Tibbott was a pioneer in the field of women's studies, with her recognition of the wider significance of these generally unsung domestic tasks, as her opening article demonstrates: 'Liberality and Hospitality', with an analysis of the importance of food as a social factor through the ages.
The second section deals with 'Laundering in the Welsh Home'. To an older generation this is all familiar ground though it will be news to those who never remember not owning a washing machine. The third section returns us to a vanished world when oatmeal was the staple of life, with a careful study of 'Sucan and Llymru', the sour oatmeal-based 'jelly' produced in South and North Wales respectively under those names. 'Cheese-making in Glamorgan' follows: again this was generally a woman's task and a valuable addition to a small farming income. 'Traditional Breads of Wales' brings to mind the delicious home-made bread to be obtained once at every farmhouse.
But Mrs Tibbott does not only dwell on the past; she has been at pains to record important changes that modernized the traditional farmhouse kitchen in 'Going Electric', an often amusing account of the distrust and caution with which this innovation was confronted. The most unexpected section deals with 'The Covering of Table Legs in (South-East) Wales', with a series of photographs demonstrating this curious fetish. The final chapter deals with 'Knitting Stockings in Wales', its economic value and associated artefacts.
The book is very well illustrated with over fifty photographs.
It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgement should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
Gellir defnyddior adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
Domestic Life in Wales
Aspects of the Celtic and Roman World
S. Minwel Tibbott, edited by Beth Thomas, with a Foreword by Trefor M. Owen
pp 192 234 x 156 mm August 2002 paperback £12.99
Domestic Life in Wales is an essential and fascinating source of information on Welsh customs, traditions and domestic culture. Based on oral evidence gathered during the twentieth century and on documentary evidence from a variety of sources and periods, it covers topics ranging from traditional foods to the covering of table legs, and from crafts such as stocking-knitting and cheese-making to the effect of the coming of electricity on Welsh home life.
The late S. Minwel Tibbott was a pioneer in the field of womens studies in Wales and an acknowledged expert in the study of domestic life and traditional foods. Domestic Life in Wales brings many of Minwel Tibbotts writings together as a tribute to her contribution to folk life and womens studies.
This volume demonstrates the variety and depth of Minwel Tibbotts research, as well as offering a particularly accessible and readable introduction to Welsh domestic history. It will be essential reading for all those interested in the social and cultural history of Wales, folk life and food history, but is also likely to be of interest to a wider audience including those who can still remember some of the traditional ways described.
Until her retirement in 1995, S. Minwel Tibbott was an Assistant Keeper in the Department of Buildings and Domestic Life at the Welsh Folk Museum (now the Museum of Welsh Life) in St Fagan's, Cardiff. She was the author of numerous articles on Welsh domestic life, as well as several books, including Castell yr Iechyd (1969) and Welsh Fare (1976).
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