Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Story of Wales

There an excellent article on the new BBC Wales series the Story of Wales by Labour MP Ian Lucus wh laments the apparent  reluctance for the BBC to show the programme UK wide .

The article is somewhat spoiled by Wales Homes's Introduction that compares it with Jeremy Paxmans new series on Empire which was shown in the rest of the UK at the same tinme last night.

Wales Home states that.
BBC Wales’s new flagship history won’t be shown elsewhere in the UK, and the programme it displaces, exploring the British Empire, won’t be shown in Wales. Both decisions are baffling and wrong.
The Paxman programme is  to be shown tonight at 9:00 PM where it replace  a Horizon episode.

But the main thrust of Ian Lucas article has a point and although some comments indicate the "Story of Wales might be shown in BBC 4 at a later date . There is no conformation that this will happen

By contrast Niel Oliver's  A History of Scotland was first broadcast in November 2008 on BBC One Scotland and later shown UK-wide on BBC Two during January 2009.

I share Ian Lucus's praise for Norman Davies The Isles, which charts the history of the British Isles which does not revert to an anglo-centric  history in which the Celtic nations are only bit players.Read it and wonder why others have not taken this approach.

As far as the series itself the first programme was OK. But i feel an opportunity was lost in not having a eminent Welsh historian to not only write it but to present it.

Like the Neil Oliver series (He's an archaeologist not an historian) the programme might begin to look like it was written by  a committee and as Insidious points out may be more about Huw Edwards  (whose father was just the sort of historian to do write and present such a series) rather than analysis of Welsh History. Edwards does a fine job I just would prefer a greater analysis which a presenter who actually wrote the words may have given.

In some ways my argument is supported by the series title "The Story of Wales" an horrible title which may be a bilingual pun on Hanes but in English just sounds twee.

I will continue to watch the programme and home that it makes a contribution.

I feel that BBC(Wales) may just have missed a opportunity not only in failing to insure a greater airing for this series   But perhaps we need a series with more gravitas presented and written by someone who make us sit up . John (Bwlchlan) Davies maybe.

3 comments:

  1. "Norman Davies The Isles, which charts the history of the British Isles which does not revert to an anglo-centric history in which the Celtic nations are only bit players.Read it and wonder why others have not taken this approach."

    Hugh F. Kearney's book, The British Isles: A History of Four Nations, adopted this approach in the late 1980s.
    Robert Llewellyn Tyler

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    1. AnonymousFeb 28, 2012 03:14 AM
      Thanks for the information . I will certainly take a look at it.

      Delete
  2. I'd recommend it. I had the pleasure of studying under Prof Kearney at the University of Pittsburgh, 1987-89. As the book addresses constitutional possibilitie, it is of particular interest today.
    You might also consider taking a look at Michael Hechter's Internal colonialism:the Celtic fringe in British national development
    Robert

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