Words of War: Conflict in Welsh Literature

23 January - 30 July 2016

For centuries, Welsh poets and prose writers have depicted the experience of war, either by celebrating victories or mourning defeat.  This exhibition focuses on four historic conflicts from the sixth to the seventeenth centuries – both battles and skirmishes.  Poignant eyewitness accounts and later reactions by artists such as Aneirin and David Jones, Bleddyn Fardd and Gerallt Lloyd Owen will be shown alongside the narrative testimonies of contemporary and later chroniclers.  Let the poets take you to Catraeth, Cilmeri, Bosworth and the Somme.

Exhibition items

  • The Book of Aneirin (NLW Llyfr Aneirin (Cardiff MS 2.81))
  • In Parenthesis (David Jones Papers (LP2/4))
  • The Book of Taliesin (Peniarth MS 2)
  • Y Gogynfeirdd (NLW MS 4973B)
  • Beird Byt Barnant by David Jones (Framed Works of Art Collection (MA03))
  • A bloody slaughter at Pembrooke-Castle in Wales where Collonel Poyer opposeth the Parliament, ... With the treaty of Collonel Flemming, and the gentlemen of the county with him, the danger of Tinby Castle to revolt from the Parliament. ...(Civil War tracts 1648 (7))
  • A great fight in Wales between Collonell Horton and Collonell Powel: ... With the taking of Brecknock. ...(Civil War tracts 1648 (25))
  • A fuller relation of a great victory obtained against the Welsh forces, by Col: Tho: Horton, one of the Lord General Fairfax's colonels; ...(Civil War tracts 1648 (36))
  • Denbigh-Castle surprized for the King by 60 Cavalliers that scaled the walls, who were all after taken prisoners, and the Castle secured. ...(Civil War tracts 1648 (67))
  • The Chronicle Of The Princes (Peniarth MS 20)
  • The Hendregadredd Manuscript (NLW MS 6680B)
  • Llyfr John Brooke O Vowddwy (NLW MS 872D)
  • Cilmeri by Gerallt Lloyd Owen (Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru Collection (FBL/2, 8/8))
  • Cara Wallia Derelicta by David Jones (Framed Works of Art Collection (MA02))
  • The historie of the pitifull life, and unfortunate death of Edward the fifth, and the then Duke of Yorke his brother: with the troublesome and tyrannical government of usurping Richard the third, and his miserable end by Syr Thomas More (DA259 M83)
  • ‘The tragedy of Richard the Third’, Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories, and tragedies.  The second impression (STC 22274a)
  • The historie of that wise and fortunate prince, Henrie of that name the Seventh, King of England. With that famed battaile, fought betweene the sayd King Henry and Richard the third named Crookbacke, upon Redmoore neere Bosworth by Charles Aleyn (PR2700 A38)

The Book of Aneirin

Reference: NLW Llyfr Aneirin, Cardiff MS 2.81

The book of Aneirin

The Book of Taliesin

Reference: Peniarth MS 2

The Hendregadredd Manuscript

Reference: NLW MS 6680B