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A History of Wales
From the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest by John Edward Lloyd, M. A., Professor of History in the University College of North Wales, Bangor in two volumes (1912)

Second Edition

Preface to First Edition

In this work it has been my endeavour to bring together and to weave into a continuous narrative what may be fairly regarded as the ascertained facts of the history of Wales up to the fall of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in 1282. In a field where so much is matter of conjecture, it has not been possible altogether to avoid speculation and hypothesis, but I can honestly say that I have not written in support of any special theory or to urge any preconceived opinion upon the reader. My purpose has been to map out, in this difficult region of study, what is already known and established, and thus to define more clearly the limits of that "terra incognita" which still awaits discovery. The task has not been attempted in English since Miss Jane Williams (Ysgafell) published her History of Wales in 1869, and it cannot be doubted, therefore, that it was time to undertake it anew.

The enterprise, it need scarcely be said, has been a laborious one, and, as the occupation of somewhat limited hours of leisure, has been spread over a considerable number of years. In some respects this may have been an advantage, but it has entailed certain drawbacks also. Had the earlier chapters been written more recently, they might have owed more than they do to the study of such works as Dr. Holmes' Ancient BHtain and Professor Bury's Life of St. Patrick. For this and many other shortcomings I can but crave the indulgence of the reader.

It has been my endeavour to indicate, in the footnotes and elsewhere, my innumerable obligations to other workers in this field of study. But I should wish here to express my general indebtedness to Sir John Rhys, Mr. Egerton Phillimore, Mr. Alfred N. Palmer, and the late Dr. Hugh Williams for the pioneer work which has so greatly facilitated the scientific study of Welsh history. I owe to them what cannot be expressed in the debit of citation and reference, namely, outlook and method and inspiration. For assistance given to me ungrudgingly during the progress of the work, I desire to thank Principal J. R. Ainsworth Davis, M.A., Professor T. F. Tout, M.A., Professor J. Morris Jones, M.A., Professor W. Lewis Jones, M.A., Mr. Edward Greenly, F.G.S., Mr. Percy G. Thomas, M.A., Mr. O. T. Williams, M.A., and the Rev. T. Shankland.

Most of the primary authorities used are discussed in some part or other of the book. The reader may notice, however, that nowhere is there any full and systematic discussion of the chronicles included in Annales Cambrice and Brut y Tywysogion. I had originally intended to include a critical account of these authorities in the work, but afterwards came to the conclusion that the task was too ambitious for the present occasion and must be separately undertaken. Let it suffice here to say that I have throughout treated Brut y Tywysogion and Brut (or Brenhinedd) y Saeson as two independent translations of a Latin original partially (but by no means fully) represented in MSS. B. and C. o^ Annales CambricB.

The Map is intended to be of general service to those who may use the book, and does not reproduce the political divisions of Wales at any definite point in its history. For North Wales, however, it is approximately correct for the year 1 200. Cantrefs are usually indicated, but in Anglesey, Powys, Ceredigion and Morgannwg, commotes are shown as there the more important.

In the spelling of Welsh names, I have sought to observe the rules laid down in 1893 by the Orthographical Committee of the Society for Utilising the Welsh Language.

My thanks are due to Miss E. M. Samson for the compilation of the Index.

Bangor, 1st November, 1910.

Volume 1  |  Volume 2

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