‘C’est mon journal de voyage’ : La Villemarqué’s Letters from Wales, 1838-1839.

Mary-Ann Constantine 1 Fañch Postic 2
2 CRBC Brest - Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique
IBSHS - Institut Brestois des Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société, UBO - Université de Brest, CRBC - Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique
Abstract : At the beginning of October 1838, a delegation of Bretons led by Théodore Hersart de La Villemarqué arrived in Abergavenny in south Wales. They had been officially invited to take part in the Eisteddfod, the Welsh festival of literature and music revived at the end of the C18th. organized by the Society of Cymreigyddion. The letters written and received by La Villemarqué during his stay in Britain provide a vivid account not only of the lavish celebrations of October 1838, but of the world which produced them. Staying at the homes of many of the most influential figures in the Welsh Revival, he offers unique and often striking insights into the lives of his hosts and their guests, capturing the ornate interiors of their grand houses, many of which no longer exist. The correspondence also gives us insights into La Villemarqué’s scholarly preoccupations just before the publication of the first edition of the Barzaz-Breiz, and sheds more light on his researches into the Celtic origins of medieval Arthurian literature. The letters by La Villemarqué and a number of other correspondents, along with various documents relating to his visit to Wales and England, can be found in the La Villemarqué family archives, held at the Archives Départementales in Quimper (fonds 263 J). They can be viewed under the heading ‘Fonds La Villemarqué’ in the digitised catalogue at the Centre de Recherche Bretonne et Celtique: bibnumcrbc.huma-num.fr.
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Mary-Ann Constantine, Fañch Postic. ‘C’est mon journal de voyage’ : La Villemarqué’s Letters from Wales, 1838-1839.. 2019. ⟨hal-02350747⟩

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