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eccentric Romantic poet and forger, Iolo Morganwg (1747-1846) left in the back of a floor-to-ceiling stack of unpublished manuscripts in his small Welsh cottage. A Rattleskull Genius, in response to that trove of unpublished fabric now held on the nationwide Library of Wales, presents either a party and a serious reassessment of the writer and his contributions to Welsh cultural culture.
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Extra info for A Rattleskull Genius: The Many Faces of Iolo Morganwg (University of Wales Press - Iolo Morganwg and the Romantic Tradition)
The elaborate bardic edifice built by Iolo Morganwg, however, proved long-lasting. The ceremonial has long since lost historical credence, but the myth created by Iolo remains powerful and is a testament to the success of his 3 4 Sweet, Antiquaries, p. 121. One such critic was Rowland Vaughan, in his preface to Yr Ymarfer o Dduwioldeb (a translation of The Practice of Piety) in 1630:‘Yr ydym ni yn meddiannu yr ynys hon ou blaen hwy, er bod Camden ai gau athrawiaeth ddyscedig a llawer o ddiscyblion iddo yn gwadu Brutus ac yn haeru mai Ieffrey o fynyw o scrifennodd o honaw gyntaf ’ (‘We were in possession of this island before them, although Camden and his false learned doctrine and many of his followers deny Brutus and assert that it was Geoffrey of Monmouth who first wrote of him’).
See chapter 12 below. 279, Iolo Morganwg to magistrates at Cowbridge, 13 March 1818; Edward Williams, Vox Populi Vox Dei! or, Edwards for Ever! (Swansea, 1818). NLW 21285E, Letter no. 857, Iolo Morganwg to members of the Bath Agricultural Society, 19 July 1796. NLW 21413E, no. 3; NLW 1808Eii, Letter no. 1526, Iolo Morganwg to Walter Davies, 12 August 1806. See chapter 10 below. NLW 13089E, pp. 120–4; NLW 21404F, nos. 1–17. 61 Among the hats which Iolo increasingly wore with pride was that of the remembrancer.
NLW 21387E, no. 9. See chapters 18 and 20 below. NLW 21286E, Letter no. 1005, Iolo Morganwg to Taliesin Williams, 17 January 1826. NLW 13222C, pp. 185–6, Iolo Morganwg to William Owen Pughe, 15 August 1805; BL Add. 15030, ff. 1–2, Iolo Morganwg to Owain Myfyr, 15 November 1798. See chapter 20 below; Cambrian Register, 3 (1818), 381–5, Iolo Morganwg to Evan Williams, 31 March 1811. NLW 21286E, Letter no. 994, Iolo Morganwg to Taliesin Williams, 23 September 1823. NLW 13136A, p. 96. NLW 13222C, p.