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The Cambrian Muse: Welsh Identity and Hanoverian Loyalty in the Poems of Jane Brereton (1685-1740)

From: Eighteenth-Century Studies
Volume 38, Number 4, Summer 2005
pp. 587-603 | 10.1353/ecs.2005.0042

Abstract

This article examines the work of the Anglo-Welsh poet Jane Brereton in the context of recent critical interest in constructions of British national identity in the eighteenth century. It is argued that Brereton's staunch commitment to the Hanoverian monarchs and the Anglo-British center does not so much detract from her expression of Welsh identity in her poetry, but rather refracts this identity through the lens of British solidarity. In conclusion, it is suggested that, in keeping with other Anglo-Welsh writers of her class and language group, Brereton's national identity is informed by ideas of British unity rather than Welsh independence.