Monday, March 01, 2010

Caesura - Hanesydd chan 'r Plaid Geidwadol Cymru

Or: Wanted - Historian of the Welsh Conservative Party

(Also wanted: the accurate title of this post in Welsh, rather than an online translator bot's best guess.)

Today is St David's Day, and so invariably minds are turning to Wales. As such I am reminded that in modern political history one of the most striking gaps in coverage is the history of the Welsh Conservative Party. Off the top of my head the only book on I can think of is an essay by David Melding (Assembly Member for South Wales Central) entitled Have We Been Anti-Welsh? The Conservative Party and the Welsh Nation. (There used to be a copy available online but this no longer seems to be the case.) Melding's piece is quite open that he is not the historian the party awaits, but in the absence of anything else his is the only account available. And it is short, brief and doesn't answer all the questions about the Conservatives and Wales.

A full history is needed. The sources are certainly out there and available and the outcome could be quite interesting. So is there anyone out there who wants to step up to the task?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In answer to your second question, I would have put it:

"Yn Eisiau: Hanesydd Y Blaid Ceidwadwyr(/Ceidwadyr - can be spelled either way)".

You could add "Cymreig" at the end to make it clear it was the (Welsh) Conservatives, but I think they just call themselves "Ceidwadyr" when referring to the Welsh Conservatives in Welsh.

In answer to your main point - I don't know of any current major historians working specifically on the Conservatives in Wales. In addition to David Melding's book there is the text of Lord Crickhowell's 2006 Welsh Political Archive Lecture on the subject here, but it hasn't escaped criticism (he came in for a savaging from me on the night, among others).

If there is anybody out there who is doing anything along these lines, I would have thought Gerard Charmley, a PhD student at Swansea, would at least know about it. If you're genuinely interested in the subject, he'd be the one to get in touch with.

Hope that's of interest, and the workload eases up a bit soon.


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