Wales in the Eighties
Wales, it seemed, existed for a long time on a lower stratum from England, Scotland, or even Ireland. It belonged to the era of prehistory. Before 1880 it was still cast in the druidic mould, where Borrow claimed to have discovered it. This attitude, especially among the English, truly died hard. The 1880s in Wales proved to be, more than in any other region of Britain, a major turning-point in a special sense. These years provided the springboard for an age of national growth, dynamism, and prosperity unknown since the union with England under the Tudors and certainly without parallel since. Caught up in the heady turmoil of late-Victorian imperialist England, but safely detached from it too, colonized, ‘neglected’, impoverished Wales took its first conscious steps out of pre-history and the fantasies of the ‘twilight’ towards a new era of modernity and fulfillment.
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