On Saunders Lewis

Bardsey Island Wales

“Instead, Lewis’ nationalism looked back to the Wales of the Middle Ages before the State-based Nationalism of the Reformation. The conquest of Wales in 1282 had undermined the native aristocracy and then English State Imperialism had been further imposed by the Acts of Union and the religious changes of the Tudor period.

The loss of Catholicism meant the replacing of communal values with an alienating individualism which slowly corroded Welsh rural society. English law changed the social pattern of land ownership so that the values of perchentaeth (‘householdership’) were replaced by tenant farming. Morover, the land accumulation by the gentry (which for the nationalists was effectively a process of colonisation) led to the opening of Welsh land to Capitalist exploitation. Wales could only be saved by restoring her ancient gwareiddiad (‘civilisation’).

Lewis’ ideal of a European culture – Christendom – which was destroyed first by Protestantism then by Capitalism and Liberal Individualism is remarkably similar to that expressed in the writings of Christopher Dawson.”

–      Tom Villis, 2013.

Saunders Lewis with Lewis Valentine and DJ Williams

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