By Geraint H. Jenkins
An industrious educational and charmingly eccentric Romantic poet and forger, Iolo Morganwg (1747-1846) left in the back of a floor-to-ceiling stack of unpublished manuscripts in his small Welsh cottage. A Rattleskull Genius, in response to that trove of unpublished fabric now held on the nationwide Library of Wales, offers either a party and a severe reassessment of the writer and his contributions to Welsh cultural culture.
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Additional info for A Rattleskull Genius: The Many Faces of Iolo Morganwg (University of Wales Press - Iolo Morganwg and the Romantic Tradition)
Another persona which Iolo scrupulously cultivated until at least the mid1790s was as the loquacious, fun-loving Ned the lad. Masonic activity offered opportunities for lively discussion and debate, and his conviviality in Cowbridge taverns and in Gwyneddigion circles was legendary. 45 An audience with Iolo in London was an occasion to savour and his loud, persistent and often querulous voice dominated conversations. Never drawn to the dull-witted or the ponderous, he enjoyed the company of unconventional or challenging men.
418,W. J. Rees to Iolo Morganwg, 3 November 1821. Benjamin H. , London, 1807), I, p. 195. See p. 333 below. NLW 1895Ei, Letter no. 82, Iolo Morganwg to David Richards (Ifor Ceri), 26 December 1820. Richard J. , London, 2000), p. 9. 72 The nostalgia for past glories, both real and imaginary, was coupled on the part of the public with a subliminal desire to be taken in as thoroughly as possible. 73 On the Continent, too, there are significant comparative contexts for the kind of nation-building which Iolo advocated.
23. For the background, see C. M. ), Bristol in the Eighteenth Century (Bristol, 1975); Madge Dresser, Slavery Obscured:The Social History of the Slave Trade in an English Provincial Port (London, 2001). Iolo’s connections with Bristol are discussed in Mary-Ann Constantine, ‘Combustible Matter’: Iolo Morganwg and the Bristol Volcano (Aberystwyth, 2003). See chapter 13 below. The National Archives, PRO 30/8/190/83 LH, Iolo Morganwg toWilliam Pitt, 16 December 1796. NLW 21387E, no. 23. See chapters 21 and 22 below.