Posted on 7 October 2016
Dr Elizabeth Edwards
Richard Llwyd (1752-1835), a domestic servant turned poet and antiquarian, became one of Wales’s best-known Romantic-period writers on the publication of Beaumaris Bay: A Poem in 1800. Today almost forgotten, Llwyd was celebrated in his own time as the ‘Bard of Snowdon’, a poet whose depiction of north Wales’s landscapes, literature and history came to define those spaces for later travellers to the region.
Launched in September, a new publication by Dr Elizabeth Edwards, a Research Fellow at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS) now seeks to recover his work.
Richard Llwyd: Beaumaris Bay and Other Poems, published by Trent Editions (based at Nottingham Trent University) in their Poetry Recoveries series, reproduces the full text of Beaumaris Bay alongside shorter lyrics, ballads, and verse translations on subjects ranging from Wales’s political and bardic history to art and war, class conflict and creativity, emotional resilience in difficult times, and the hidden lives of the rural poor.
A critical and biographical introduction locates Llwyd at the meeting point of labouring-class poetry, four nations Romanticism, and Welsh writing in English. Explanatory notes on the texts identify his sources, influences, and wide-ranging literary and historical references.
Speaking about the publication, Professor John Goodridge of Nottingham Trent University said:
“Elizabeth Edwards’s brilliant scholarly edition of Richard Llwyd’s poems is a splendid piece of recovery research of a key Welsh figure of the eighteenth century.”
Joining CAWCS in 2009 as a Research Fellow on the Wales and the French Revolution project, Dr Edwards research interests lie in the literature and culture of the eighteenth century and the Romantic period, with a particular focus on literary recoveries, textual editing, archipelagic critical approaches, and the history of women’s writing. She is currently working on the AHRC-funded Curious Travellers research project, focusing on late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century tours of Wales.
Richard Llwyd: Beaumaris Bay and Other Poems is available to purchase online now - www.waterstones.com/book/beaumaris-bay-and-other-poems-2015/richard-llwyd/elizabeth-edwards/9781842331583