Learning and the Arts

Glanmor Williams

in Renewal and Reformation

Published in print January 1993 | ISBN: 9780192852779
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670558 | DOI:

Series: History of Wales

Learning and the Arts

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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The demand for formal education remained relatively restricted in Wales. Long periods of apprenticeship and training were used to acquire skills and experiences for peasants, craftsmen and labourers. Even the upper class had obstacles in acquiring education and intellectual skills. Latin was used in manuscripts but these were scarce. The Church controlled education in schools. Lawyers were well-educated and influential. Music and singing were popular in Wales. Literature was the supreme cultural achievement at the time. Littérateurs needed long and intensive instructions. Praise was the central theme of poetry such as request poems, prophetic poems, the so-called love poetry, and religious verse. Prose literature of tales and romances also thrived. The vigour and resilience of the literature owed as much to the patrons as to the poets. Traces of the other arts which flourished in medieval Wales were connected with religion.

Keywords: Wales; formal education; apprenticeship; Latin; Church; lawyers; music; littérateurs; poetry; religious verse

Chapter.  10689 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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