John Davies (25 April 1938 – 16 February 2015) was a Welsh
historian, and a television and radio broadcaster. He attended university at Cardiff and Cambridge and taught Welsh at Aberystwyth. He wrote a number of books on Welsh history.
Davies was born in the Rhondda
, and studied at both University College, Cardiff
, and Trinity College, Cambridge
Life and work
Davies was married with four children although in later life he admitted to being bisexual. After teaching Welsh history at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth
, he retired to Cardiff
, and appeared frequently as a presenter and contributor to history
programmes on television
In the mid-1980s, Davies was commissioned to write a concise history of Wales
by Penguin Books
to add to its Pelican series of the histories of nations. The decision by Penguin to commission the volume ''in'' Welsh was "unexpected and highly commendable," wrote Davies.
[A History of Wales, Preface]
"I seized the opportunity to write of Wales and the Welsh. When I had finished, I had a typescript which was almost three times larger than the original commission," wrote Davies.
[ The original voluminous typescript was first published in hardback under the ''Allen Lane'' imprint. Davies took a sabbatical from his post at the University College of Wales and wrote most of the chapters while touring Europe.] [ Davies dedicated ''Hanes Cymru'' to his wife, Janet Mackenzie Davies.] [
''Hanes Cymru'' was translated into English and published in 1993, as there was "a demand among English-speakers to read what was already available to Welsh-speakers," wrote Davies.] [ A revised edition was published (in both languages) in 2007.
In 2005, Davies received the Glyndŵr Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales during the Machynlleth Festival. He won the 2010 Wales Book of the Year for ''Cymru: Y 100 lle i'w gweld cyn marw''.
Davies lived in Grangetown, Cardiff. To mark his 75th birthday in 2013, the Welsh language television channel S4C broadcast a programme, ''Gwirionedd y Galon: Dr John Davies'', about his life and his home and in 2014 published his autobiography in Welsh.
Davies died at the age of 76 in 2015 and, as a tribute to his longstanding friend, Jon Gower republished Davies' autobiography in English.]
*''Cardiff and the Marquesses of Bute, (Writers of Wales)'', University of Wales Press, January 1980,
*''A History of Wales'', Penguin, 1994, (Revised edition 2007, )
*''Broadcasting and the BBC in Wales'', University of Wales Press, 1994,
*''The Making of Wales'', The History Press, 2nd edition printing: Oct 1, 2009,
*''The Celts'', Cassell & Co, 2000
*''The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales'', University of Wales Press, April 17, 2008,
*''Wales: 100 Places to See Before You Die'' (with Marian Delyth), Y Lolfa, 2010,
*''Fy Hanes I: Hunangofiant'' (autobiography in Welsh), Y Lolfa, 2014,
*''A Life in History'' (autobiography translated into English by Jon Gower), Y Lolfa, 2015,
Category:Alumni of Cardiff University
Category:Alumni of Trinity College, Cambridge
Category:Academics of Aberystwyth University
Category:People from Treorchy
Category:Historians of Wales
Category:21st-century Welsh historians
Category:20th-century Welsh historians