"Le pays de Galles et Monmouth"

Name of traveller

Le Comte A. Mahé de la Bourdonnais

Reason for travel

  • anthropological survey

Date of travel


Ce territoire, qui se distingue par la variété des aspects, la grâce sauvages des vallées, la richesse de la verdure, l’abondance des lacs et des rivières, est le plus ancien de l’Angleterre. (Mahé de la Bourdonnais 187-8)


  • agriculture:
    • a variety of garden plants can be grown on Anglesey
    • megalithic remains on Anglesey and in south Wales
  • architecture: references to the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Britannia Bridge
  • art: contains a number of illustrations, mostly portraits for ethnological comparisons
  • customs:
    • distinctiveness of Welsh culture
    • notes survival of Welsh culture and language despite the spread of trade and industry
    • recognises differences in culture and religion between Wales and England
    • description of Nonconformism as sects with highly-strung tempers
    • establishment of the first Sunday schools in Wales thanks to Nonconformism
    • references to the Welsh cultural revival and philology in connection with eisteddfodau, harps, Arthurian legends and castles
  • history: notes the importance of Anglesey as the place of retreat for the bards and druids
  • language: Welsh described as harmonious but guttural
  • people:
    • many comparisons with Brittany and links Bretons and the Welsh to Innuit groups as well as comparisons with Cornwall
    • publication contains four letters to the author from John Beddoe (1826-1911), discussing links between the Celtic peoples and the Mongols
  • politics: refers to the Rebecca Riots
  • terrain:
    • distinctiveness of Welsh geography
    • describes the modern development of Bangor and Caernarfon
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Nationality of traveller


Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication



Mahé de la Bourdonnais, A.  "Le pays de Galles et Monmouth." Voyage dans l’Ile de Man et le Pays de Galles en 1890 avec des réflexions sur l’histoire des habitants. Notes de voyage. Paris: Jeande, 1894. 187-203. Print.