This is the first full-length study of Swansea's urban development from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century. It tells the little known story of how Swansea gained an unrivalled position of influence as an urban centre, which led it briefly to claim to be the 'metropolis of Wales', and how it then lost this status in the face of rapid urban development elsewhere in Wales. As such it provides an important new perspective on Welsh urban history in which the role of Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil and even Bristol are better known as towns of influence in Welsh urban life. It also offers an analysis of how Swansea's experience of urbanisation fits into the wider picture of British urban history.
Dr Louise Miskell is a lecturer in History at Swansea University of Wales.
I Introduction Ii 'Prejudicial To Our Ancient Rights And Privileges': Urban Governance, C.1780-1800 Iii 'Many Advantages Not To Be Found In Any Other Part Of Wales': Improvement And Identity, C.1800-1820 Iv 'A Degree Of Commercial And Manufacturing Importance': Industrialization And Regional Status V 'The Content And Comfort Of The Workmen': The Swansea Populace And Social Relations Vi'Cutting Each Other's Throats By Our Unhappy Divisions': Local Government In The Post-Reform Era Vii'There Is A Spirit Of Intelligence Abroad': Urban Elites And Urban Culture Viii Conclusion