Keeping up with Welsh

July 18, 1997

THE SCHOOL of thought that the interests of Welshmen as individuals are best served by the destruction of the Welsh language, of which Christie Davies (THES, July 4) declares himself a member, is of venerable antiquity among his countrymen, being traceable to the Tudors. There are signs that this school is now in decline, a thing that I confess I do not regret.

I trust that those more competent than I will challenge the postulated causal relationship between the persistence of the Welsh language and the (alleged) lack of eminent Welshmen.

The concept of an area of ethnic near-uniformity whose boundaries so conveniently coincide with those of the extant United Kingdom is contrary to all the evidence of the English as substantially an immigrant population within the island of Britain. Why do Welshmen seek to deny this? I have yet to find any Jewish person who felt it in the interests of their own people to deny the holocaust.

The desire to represent the modern English state as a Welsh creation may be an even more venerable tradition among Welshmen, traceable to Geoffrey of Monmouth, but that denying the immigrant character of the English only seems to go back to material attributed to the 18-century hoaxer Iolo Morgannwg.

Richard White

Woodford Green Essex

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