Sex, Sects and Society

'Pain and Pleasure': A Social History of Wales and the Welsh, 1870-1945

Author(s) Russell Davies

Language: English

Genre(s): Welsh Interest, Politics, History

  • March 2018 · 448 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Paperback - 9781786832139
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786832146
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786832153

About The Book

In an extended account of national identity, this companion volume to People, Places and Passions provides the first detailed study of the sexual and spiritual life of Wales in the period 1870–1945. The author argues that whilst Wales and its people experienced a disenchantment of the spiritual world, a revolution in sexual life was taking place. This innovative study examines how advances in life expectancy and improvements in health were reflected in emotional life. In contrast to the traditional emphasis upon hardship and hardscrabble experiences, this fascinating and beautifully written volume shows that the Welsh were also a free and fun-loving people.


‘To begin at the beginning’: an introduction
1: ‘Dygŵyl y Meirwon’ (Festival of the Dead): death, transcendence and transience
2: The Citadel: pain, anxiety and wellbeing
3: Going Gently into that Good Night: desolation, dispiritedness and melancholy
4: Where, When, What Was Wales and who were the Welsh? contentment, disappointment and embarrassment
5: ‘The Way of all Flesh’: prudery, passion and perversion
6: Love in a Cold Climate: fidelity, friendship and fellowship
7: Religion and superstition: fear, foreboding and faith
8: The pursuit of pleasure: enthrallment, happiness and imagination
Conclusion: A few selected exits.

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Russell Davies

Russell Davies is a broadcaster and writer; he is the author of Secret Sins: Sex, Violence and Society in Carmarthenshire 1870–1920; Hope and Heartbreak: a Social History of Wales and the Welsh, 1776–1870, and People, Places and Passions: Pain and Pleasure, a Social History of Wales and the Welsh, 1870–1945.

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