This volume approaches the fascinating figure of Iolo Morganwg - stonemason, poet and literary forger - from three distinct but interrelated angles. They all take as their starting point Iolo Morganwg's `marginality' within mainstream literary society both in London and in Wales and demonstrate the strategies that he used to overcome the frustrations of his situation. Iolo's notoriety as a literary forger provides the context for the first discussion in the volume, which considers his efforts to pass on his own work as that of famous Welsh writers of the past. This chapter looks at how important the editorial apparatus with which Iolo surrounded his forgeries was to his attempt to ensure their satisfactory reception. Secondly, two collections of printed books owned by Iolo and containing marginal commentary in his hand are explored. The discussion here demonstrates Iolo's keen interest in the forging of a path for the Welsh language within the developing public domain of the regional eisteddfodau and also his complex personal relations with some of the more successful authors of his day. Iolo's vulnerability and marginality within the context of a Welsh public sphere are both brought to the fore in this chapter. Finally, the volume turns to the marginalia left by Iolo on letters within his collection of correspondence, showing his extraordinary creativity and bringing to attention for the first time some of his unpublished work in the fields of Welsh and English poetry and on matters relating to the Welsh language.
Dr Ffion Mair Jones has been a Research Fellow at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies since October 2001, working initially on the 'Iolo Morganwg and the Romantic Tradition in Wales' project and currently on the 'Wales and the French Revolution Project'.