After outlining conventional accounts of Wales in the High Middle Ages, this book moves to more radical approaches to its subject. Rather than discussing the emergence of the March of Wales from the usual perspective of the ‘intrusive’ marcher lords, for instance, it is considered from a Welsh standpoint explaining the lure of the March to Welsh princes and its contribution to the fall of the native principality of Wales. Analysis of the achievements of the princes of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries focuses on the paradoxical process by which increasingly sophisticated political structures and a changing political culture supported an autonomous native principality, but also facilitated eventual assimilation of much of Wales into an English ‘empire’. The Edwardian conquest is examined and it is argued that, alongside the resultant hardship and oppression suffered by many, the rising class of Welsh administrators and community leaders who were essential to the governance of Wales enjoyed an age of opportunity. This is a book that introduces the reader to the celebrated and the less well-known men and women who shaped medieval Wales.
Acerca de David Stephenson
David Stephenson is Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences, Bangor University. His many contributions to Welsh history include Political Power in Medieval Gwynedd, and Medieval Powys 1132–1293.