The Subversive Power of St. David's: Gerald of Wales and the Dominion of Canterbury, a Postcolonial Approach




Sprouse, Sarah Jane

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The twelfth century writer Gerald of Wales was a product of unique hybridity in terms of not only sociopolitical culture, but also ecclesiastical spaces. Gerald often walked a line between the colonizer, the Archbishopric of Canterbury, and the colonized, the Welsh Church. The ways in which he navigated his career between the two emphasize not only Gerald's goals of an independent Welsh Church and a bishopric at St. David's, but also the ways in which Gerald orientalized himself. Through a postcolonial reading of Gerald's Irish and Welsh texts, this study examines the ways in which he characterizes the native peoples and their religion in the folklore he collects in order to identify Gerald's ultimately futile argument for an independent Welsh Church. This study of the colonizer and colonized additionally reveals how Gerald inadvertently further identified himself as Welsh in the eyes of his Anglo-Norman readers.



Gerald of Wales, St. David's, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Welsh folklore, Hybridity, Itinerarium Kambriae