Intelligent Town

An Urban History of Swansea, 1780-1855

Author(s): Louise Miskell

Language: English

Genre(s): Welsh and Celtic Studies History Welsh Interest

Series: Studies in Welsh History

  • December 2011 · 200pages · 216x138mm

  • ·Paperback - 9780708325100
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786835574
  • · eBook - mobi - 9781786835581
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786835567

About The Book

This is the first full-length study of Swansea’s urban development from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century. It tells the little known story of how Swansea gained an unrivalled position of influence as an urban centre, which led it briefly to claim to be the ‘metropolis of Wales’, and how it then lost this status in the face of rapid urban development elsewhere in Wales. As such it provides an important new perspective on Welsh urban history in which the role of Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil and even Bristol are better known as towns of influence in Welsh urban life. It also offers an analysis of how Swansea’s experience of urbanisation fits into the wider picture of British urban history.


"This is a marvellous book, lucid, lively and well written which shifts the focus of Welsh history in the early nineteenth-century away from the well-ploughed path to Merthyr and engages with a civic place in which science and learning were valued. It asks new questions not simply about Swansea but also about the whole industrial and urban experience of Wales in the early nineteenth century." - Neil Evans, Cardiff University "...a consistently absorbing account of Swansea's own mini-Enlightenment. It is a groundbreaking and challenging model for the further analysis of the formative influence of such elites elsewhere in Wales." Nigel Jenkins, Planet, Issue 181"This is an admirable 'urban history', beautifully written throughout, and fascinating because it turns the spotlight on ignored and neglected features of our history, the urban middle classes."Prys Morgan, Morgannwg, Volume L 2006


I Introduction Ii ‘Prejudicial To Our Ancient Rights And Privileges’: Urban Governance, C.1780-1800 Iii ‘Many Advantages Not To Be Found In Any Other Part Of Wales’: Improvement And Identity, C.1800-1820 Iv ‘A Degree Of Commercial And Manufacturing Importance’: Industrialization And Regional Status V ‘The Content And Comfort Of The Workmen’: The Swansea Populace And Social Relations Vi’Cutting Each Other’s Throats By Our Unhappy Divisions’: Local Government In The Post-Reform Era Vii’There Is A Spirit Of Intelligence Abroad’: Urban Elites And Urban Culture Viii Conclusion

About the Author(s)

Louise Miskell

Louise Miskell teaches history at Swansea University. Interested in towns and industries in modern Britain, her current research is focused on the Welsh copper and steel industries, and the communities they shaped.

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