• “He will bid me cross the border”: George Borrow's Wild Wales , O. M. Edwards's Cartrefi Cymru and the imagined nation

      Byrne, Aidan (Taylor and Francis, 2014-04-22)
      This article argues that George Borrow’s Wild Wales (1862) and O. M. Edwards’s Cartrefi Cymru (1896) construct Wales in significantly different ways through their authors’ journeys around Wales in the mid- and late-Victorian periods, by drawing on Benedict Anderson’s theory that nationalism requires industrial capitalism to construct an “imagined nation”. I suggest that Borrow’s neo-Romantic Wales allows for elective affinity for cultured outsiders while discursively excluding “lower” ethnic groups, while Edwards’s work constructs an essentialist and exclusive respectable, Nonconformist Wales. It further argues that beneath the didactic purpose of the texts, both texts hold therapeutic or recuperative significance for their authors.