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Building the Anthill: Lady Llanover, Invented Traditions, and the Hidden Politics of Welsh Cultural Nationalism

Journal article

Welsh History Review

This article explores the methods and motives of one of Wales’ most well-known cultural patrons: Lady Llanover. Amidst the considerable unrest in nineteenth-century Wales, she sought to codify a coherent definition of Welsh nationalism, premised upon its concern for cultural practices and adherence to tradition. Through a contextual examination of Lady Llanover’s sixty-year engagement with Welsh culture—both real and invented—this article demonstrates her intention to undermine political nationalism of a separatist bent by characterising Welsh national identity along exclusively cultural lines. That is to say, her work had a political agenda, one overlooked in the literature of Wales.