1. The Hunt for the Welsh Past in the Romantic Period
  2. In Wales, the movement of revival and myth making grew out
  3. of a crisis in Welsh life, when the very lifeblood of the nation
  4. seemed to be ebbing away… Wales in the eighteenth century
  5. did not have an unbroken or a fortunate historical tradition; it did
  6. not have a glorious or heroic recent past. Hence the rediscovery
  7. of the remote past, the Druids and the Celts and the others, had
  8. an astounding effect on the Welsh. Wales did not have a network
  9. of learnned or academic institutions to check and balance myths
  10. and inventions with criticism...
  11. It required a superhuman effort by a small number of patriots to
  12. force their fellow-countrymen to appreciate their heritagc, to
  13. value what was their own. They felt that the only way to bring this
  14. about was to ransack the past and transform it with imagination,
  15. to create anew Welshness which would instruct, entertain,
  16. amuse and educate the people. The mythical and romantic
  17. Wales which they created allowed the Welsh to lose their
  18. immediate past, and to gain a version of it in the arts and
  19. literature; they could, as it were, have their cake and eat it...
  20. As soon as the romantics fell from their steeds, their place
  21. was taken by fresh myth-makers and creators of traditions,
  22. those of radical and non-conformist Wales. The huntsmen
  23. have changed, but the hunt went on.

The above extracts were taken from:

Morgan, P., 'The Hunt for the Welsh Past in the Romantic Period', in Hobsbawm, E., Ranger, T. (Eds.) (1983), The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 99-100.

Questions (by Adrian Worsfold)

  1. Which of the following statements best sums up this article?
    1. History is made up
    2. Hunting people have cake and eat cake
    3. Welsh patriots responded to a crisis in Welsh identity by creating traditions
    4. A romantic history allows people to lose their recent history

  2. There is an OCR (scanning) error in:
    1. line 5
    2. line 8
    3. line 12
    4. line 15

  3. There is a spelling error in:
    1. line 4
    2. line 9
    3. line 13
    4. line 14

  4. These extracts illustrate:
    1. Tabloid press writing
    2. Academic writing
    3. Colour supplement writing
    4. Report writing

  5. These extracts primarily seek to:
    1. Force Welsh people to a point of view
    2. Argue a case
    3. Reject a given viewpoint
    4. Advertise for the Welsh Romantic movement

  6. One reason the Welsh accepted romantic myth as valid history was because:
    1. The patriots were superhuman
    2. There were few critical learning institutions
    3. Wales is an heroic place shown by its history
    4. The Welsh like to be entertained and amused

  7. The article claims that Welsh identity through non-conformist religion:
    1. Is historically valid
    2. Is another constructed myth
    3. Demonstrates that Wales is a land of song and prayer
    4. Was a feature of the romantic period

  8. In line 3 "lifeblood" means:
    1. A liquid substance that keeps people alive
    2. Identity and essence
    3. A myth
    4. The ability to live

  9. In Lines 1 and 23 "the hunt" means:
    1. Chasing and hoping to kill foxes
    2. Looking for ancient documents in Welsh towns and villages
    3. Chasing any usable myths in the romantic past, embellishing them and even making some up
    4. Looking for remains of Druids and famous Celts

  10. Which of these statements is true, according to the article:
    1. Wales did have an unbroken and fortunate historical tradition
    2. Wales did have a glorious and heroic recent past
    3. Wales did not have an unbroken and fortunate historical tradition but did have a glorious and heroic recent past
    4. Wales neither had an unbroken or a fortunate historical tradition nor did it have a glorious or heroic recent past

  11. The Romanticised period is:
    1. A time in the distant past
    2. The eighteenth century
    3. The non-conformist period
    4. The immediate past

  12. In line 22 the "huntsmen" are:
    1. People on their steeds (horseback)
    2. Mythmakers chasing myths
    3. Non-conformist ministers
    4. Druids and Celts

  13. In line 15 "anew" most accurately means:
    1. Create a new Welshness
    2. Create again a Welshness
    3. Create a limited Welshness
    4. Create a Welshness from false documents

  14. Rewrite the last paragraph in less colourful language.

Adrian Worsfold