Wales: Records of Early Drama


528 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-9072-9
DDC 790.2'09429'0902




Edited by David N. Klausner
Reviewed by Laila Abdalla

Laila Abdalla is an associate professor of English at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, and former professor at McGill University.


David N. Klausner spent 13 years at such venues as the National Library
of Wales, the Bodleian, the Institut de Recherche d’histoire des
textes, Paris, and numerous archive and records offices in Wales and
England gathering, editing, and translating references to anything to do
with drama in pre-1642 Welsh documents.

The book opens with chapters on historical background, contemporary
Welsh performing customs, the mother documents, and the editorial
practices used in collating the references. The records themselves are
organized in chronological order according to the region from which they
emanate. They are offered in their language of origin, mostly Latin or
Welsh, with the translations in a later chapter. There one may read, for
example, the law stating that when a Bard “obtains a chair the judge
of the court will receive a horn or a gold ring and the cushion that
will be placed under him on the chair.” Other records are longer and
more descriptive; for example, Gerald of Wales’s Descriptio Kambriae
(A Description of Wales) describes how in Wales one may expect to be
“entertained until evening by girls’ conversations and the harps’
measures, for every home here has girls and harps designated for this

This lucidly written and well-organized book is a good starting point
for scholars seeking direction to the materials in question.


“Wales: Records of Early Drama,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,