"I Married a Welshman"

Name of traveller

Käte Bosse-Griffiths (1910-1998)

Reason for travel

  • emigration from Germany after being dismissed from her research position as Egyptologist on the basis of her mother's Jewish parentage
  • move from England to Wales with her husband

Date of travel

1939 onwards

Have you ever seen how a Welsh mother throws around her body the big shawl in which she holds her child safely and warmly? The beauty of the fall of its folds reminds one of the grace of Greek and Roman statues. (Bosse-Griffiths 3)


  • customs:
    • admits having had no knowledge of Wales before moving to Britain
    • reference to Nonconformist congregations in Wales and the quality of rhetoric in sermons
    • Welsh spirit expressed in the competitions of the National Eisteddfod; comparison with the competitive spirit of Greek antiquity
    • praises Welsh appreciation of knowledge, education and life-long learning; appreciates encouragement of married women to continue their intellectual pursuits
  • clothing: compares shawls worn by Welsh mothers for carrying their children to shawls shown on Greek and Roman statues
  • industry:
    • impact of coal mining on the surroundings, especially deforestation
    • mentions the destitution suffered during the Big Strike; striking miners cut their own coal from the mountains
    • praises the dignity of the working classes in Wales
  • literature: reference to romanticised inaccuracies in the film How Green Was My Valley
  • language:
    • points out etymology of the word "Welsh", meaning non-Germanic, foreign, something negative
    • is in the process of learning Welsh and feels invigorated by the learning process and better integrated into the community
  • people:
    • talks about first encounters in England with people from Wales
    • references to her husband, John Gwyn Griffiths (1911-2004) and mutual friends from the Rhondda area
    • feels welcomed and not patronised as a foreigner by the Welsh people
  • terrain:
    • talks of love at first sight with the Welsh mountains upon first visit to the Rhondda
    • bare mountains of south Wales similar to mountains near Athens or the Bavarian Alps
  • transport: travels by train

Nationality of traveller

British; German

Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication

typescript of a radio interview


Bosse-Griffiths, Käte. "I Married a Welshman." Home Service. BBC. 27 Oct. 1942, 9.20-9.35. TS.