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The dragon has two tongues - a history of the welsh

Discussion in 'Wales/Cymru' started by Udo Erasmus, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Udo Erasmus

    Udo Erasmus Well-Known Member

    got this via Dic Penderyn,

    unfortunately only episode one of the thirteen part tv series



    Written and presented by Wynford Vaughan-Thomas and Gwyn Williams

    Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, broadcaster and writer of many books about Wales, visits the Paviland Caves where ancient human remains were found, and argues that the beginning of Wales can be traced back many thousands of years. He also nestles up to Arthur's Stone and has a look at some stone circles.

    Gwyn Williams, Professor of History and lifelong Marxist, takes great exception to this view. He begins his history of Wales down a disused coalmine, and argues that Welsh history proper began only 1,500 years ago.

    Throughout the episode, the two experts present their incompatible views of Wales and their totally different approach to history and how to define it. In the final part of this episode, they come face-to-face.

    From "The Dragon Has Two Tongues: A History of the Welsh" Episode One: Where to Begin' (1985).
     
  2. fogbat

    fogbat The Talibum

    It sounds like the premise for a fantastic buddy-movie.
     
  3. Dic Penderyn

    Dic Penderyn Newport Civic Pride!

    It looks a cracker, Gywn Alf's books are great reads and he's better on screen. here's the details of the whole series: http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/series/7083

    I would love to see the whole thing, if anyone knows of a copy anywhere.
     
  4. Belushi

    Belushi 01 811 8055 R.I.P.

    I remember it when I was a kid, good series as I recall. Gwyn Alf and Wynford bickering like an old married couple :D
     
  5. lewislewis

    lewislewis Lumumba Cymru

    I also would like to get a copy of the whole thing.
     
  6. llion

    llion Well-Known Member

    They released a book/package of documents and sources which came in a nice big plastic folder to go with the series, which is brilliant, but as far as I know it has never been released on video or DVD. More's the pity as it was one of, if not the, best TV series about Welsh history. Gwyn Alff made some brilliant documentaries for S4C as, like one about Iolo Morgannwg where he would have a conversation with Iolo (played by a very funny actor, Dafydd Hywel)!
     
  7. Udo Erasmus

    Udo Erasmus Well-Known Member

    i recall reading an article by gwyn alf williams in an old History Workshop Journal putting forward an argument for the druids as the first organic intellectuals . . .

    his funeral oratoration on the death of miners leader, dai francis (father of historian, hywel francis mp) is very interesting and aludes to iolo morganwg and 'people's remembrancers' and so on, i have it in an old copy of llafur - welsh people's history society journal, may type it up some time and post it online so it can be more accesible
     
  8. lewislewis

    lewislewis Lumumba Cymru

    As far as I am aware Llafur still operates as a functioning society and holds talks every so often. Would be nice if all of these things can be aggregated or archived online. We are in danger of losing our own history otherwise. If these things don't reach the internet, then what's the point.
     
  9. Udo Erasmus

    Udo Erasmus Well-Known Member

    yes, Llafur still around, I am an inactive member, went to quite a good day school they hosted on co-operatives awhile back. It would be great if they put all the articles from their old journals online, but you can buy the back issues of the journal.

    http://llafur.org/

    re. the internet, there is lots of stuff now that could be put online and perhaps become more accesible to the masses. for example, i am doing some research on a communist organiser in cardiff in the thirties called len jeffries (who was one of the leaders of the battle of frederick street in cardiff, nineteen-thirty-two when unemployed fought a pitched battle with cops after an unemployed workers union demo), before he died he recorded several hours of interviews in the early seventies about his life, in order to listen to the tapes you have to physically goto the archive in the south wales miners library at swansea university. but then again older scholars might feel agrieved at the younger generation who want to research without leaving there computer!
     
  10. rhod

    rhod Mickey Mozart

    Yeah - I think HTV used to show it on Sunday night, and I'd see it again during the week during a school history lesson on one of those new-fangled video recorder things.. The series was a godsend to history teachers in Wales!

    Would be nice if ITV were to repeat the series, but I think it would only highlight how far the standards of programming have fallen since then.
     
  11. davesgcr

    davesgcr Reading books

    Quality programmes - once met Wynford on a Sunday evening train to London and was most impressed - a good man who enjoyed his history and his drink ! :D

    Reccomend his autobiography !
     
  12. Anna Cyp

    Anna Cyp New Member

    I am serious about tracking down a copy of this series. I come from Greece and study Greek History in uni but I also have an interest for small nations in Europe and lived in Wales for a year so my interest sort of grew. I can't believe that it is virtually a lost documentary. Anyone tried to contact the production company? If not, can you do that and tell us here what's the reply?
     
  13. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

    there's a copy of the series in the library at cardiff university, which may be available on interlibrary loan. ill's can be arranged (for a fee) through your local library.
     
  14. davesgcr

    davesgcr Reading books

    Wynford VT was a character , I met him a couple of times on the Sunday evening train back to London - a very loquacious character , his autobiography is excellent. His run in's with Gwyn were superb (if a little staged) - this ought to be re -released.
     
    phillm likes this.
  15. Gavin Bl

    Gavin Bl terrible awful baaad

    this has been kicking around on youtube for a while, saw some of it the first time round - but would love a copy of the series.
     
  16. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Colin Thomas - the director of the series, has a new book/doco (sort of an update of another one he did years ago on the same city) about Donetsk the city founded by in the 1870s by Welsh entrepreneur John Hughes and seventy Welsh workers and very much in the news again now. He's doing a talk on it in Bristol on 29th may at The Hydra Bookshop, Old Market, BS2 0EZ

    Some more info:

    Dreaming a City: From Wales to Ukraine Colin Thomas

    Here is a history of one Ukraine town, a microcosm of Russia. Hughesovka (later Stalino and Donetsk) was a mining and steel town founded in the 1870s by Welsh
    entrepreneur John Hughes and seventy Welsh workers. This book traces the town's shifts from patriarchal beginnings through the Russian revolutions, Bolshevism, Stalinism, Nazi occupation and the collapse of Communism and 1990s' rising Ukraine nationalism, to Ukraine post-independence.

    Partly a revisiting of the making of Colin Thomas' 1991 award-winning TV documentary, "Hughesovka and the New Russia", "Dreaming a City" is a special mixture of Russian and Welsh social and political history; travel journalism, and a tribute to Welsh historian Gwyn Alf Williams, as well as being a personal memoir of a life in TV and history.

    Probing important themes such as capitalism and communism; internationalism and nationalism, in addition to freedom and exploitation, the author uses the city as a metaphor to explore a retreat from political idealism, and the nature of hope and disillusion.

    Reviews of the author's documentaries:

    The Dragon has Two Tongues - "It's... uniquely provocative approach to history will have sent more than one documentary film maker...back to the drawing board" (The Times)

    The Divided Kingdom - "The name of Colin Thomas...a guarantee of intelligence and scrupulous integrity" (The Financial Times) Hughesovka and the New Russia

    Border Crossing: The Journey of Raymond Williams - "Splendid" (The Guardian)
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
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  17. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Colin is doing a talk on opposition to WW1 at the University of West of England Frenchay Campus this monday at 7.

    SLAUGHTER NO REMEDY For the present government the centenary of the First World War is seen as an opportunity to commemorate victorious patriotism. The reality is that a War that cost millions of lives encountered strong religious and political opposition. Over 6000 conscientious objectors were sent to prison, 40 of them from Bristol. Colin Thomas from the Bristol Radical History Group will talk about local opposition to the war at 7pm on Jan.16th in the Students Union on UWE's Frenchay campus, using extracts from programmes he has made. He is an award winning television director.
     
  18. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Another Colin Thomas related event:

    Colin Thomas: Reel Rebel 18 (CTBA)
    Sun 7 May 14:00
    Bristol Watershed
    120 mins

     

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