Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:


The module explores Anglophone women's writing from Wales from the seventeenth century to the present. It covers a range of genres (poetry, novels, short stories) and historical periods, but retains a focus on the way in which women imagined their relationship to the Welsh nation and negotiated their sense of being Welsh. The module will encourage students to explore how these issues and identifications shift through history and to examine and understand the way in which gender and national belonging change over time and across different genres. The module will also investigate how gender as a category changes understanding of national belonging in a Welsh context especially when the dominant modes of national identity have traditionally been gendered male.


Week 1: Introduction
Wales, Gender and the National Imagination.

Week 2: The Cambrian Muses
Selection of seventeenth and eighteenth-century poetry by Katherine Philips. Jane Brereton, Jane Cave and Anne Penny: to be provided by seminar tutor.

Week 3: Romantic Wales I
Anna Maria Bennett, Anna; or, Memoirs of a Welch Heiress (1785)

Week 4: Romantic Wales II
Allen Raine, Queen of the Rushes: A Tale of the Welsh Revival (1906)

Week 5: Class and Social Protest
Amy Dillwyn, The Rebecca Rioter (1880) and Menna Gallie, Strike for A Kingdom (1959)

Week 6: Short Stories c. 1850-1950: A selection from Jane Aaron (ed.), A View across the Valley: Short Stories by Women from Wales

Week 7: Modernism and Women in Wales
Dorothy Edwards, Winter Sonata (1928)

Week 8: 20th Century Writing
Brenda Chamberlain, Tide Race (1962)

Week 9: 20th Century and Contemporary Poetry
Lynette Roberts, Gwyneth Lewis, Ruth Bidgood, Zoe Skoulding

Week 10:Contemporary Fiction: Trezza Azzopardi, The Hiding Place (2000) and Rachel Trezise, In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl (2000) OR Fresh Apples (2005), OR Deborah Kay Davies, grace, tamar and lazlo the beautiful (2008).

Brief description

How does the literature of 'the land of our fathers' look viewed through the eyes of Welsh women writers and readers? Although the canon of Welsh writing in English has been dominated by the work of male authors and critics, this module will encourage students to see how exploring Welsh women's writing challenges received ideas about Welsh literature and Welsh identity.

Through a survey of texts from the early modern period to the current day, the module examines how women writers 'write Wales', and asks, broadly, how Welshness affects their work across a wide range of genres and periods and how writers in each period and genre mediate their Welsh identity. Different configurations of Welshness appear across different genres and different times, reflecting broader changes in Welsh identity: how are these particular to women writer, and how can looking at the key issues of Welsh writing in English through a female canon alter our view? An examination of the ways in which women authors use different genres, for example, leads to a number of different patterns of Welshness, from Romantic fiction of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, through to Modernist writing and contemporary poetry and fiction.

The module is designed to question how a gendered reading of national identity affects the ways in which we understand key issues in Welsh writing in English. For example, how does a gendered reading interpret these writers on the Welsh landscape, or how they frame their political and social commentary? What are the dominant themes in Welsh women's writing? What are the significant continuities and differences in these themes over the 350 year span of the module? What shifts and developments are there in the evolution of Welsh identity since the seventeenth century? How does looking at Welsh women's writing in particular affect, and challenge, our current conception of Welsh writing in English as a field of study?


This module is at CQFW Level 7