The reign of the North Welsh king Gruffudd ap Cynan [1075-1135] marked the culmination of a century of rapid social and political change. A product of three cultures [Welsh, Irish and Scandinavian], Gruffudd faced a Wales divided by Norman incursion and dynastic rivalry; his re-creation of his kingdom saw him acting on the wider (and often deadly) stage of Anglo-Norman politics, and surviving where more `traditional' Welsh rulers failed. His reign encouraged a new growth in Welsh literature and creativity, and is often looked upon as a literary `golden age'. This collaborative biography analyses key aspects of the career and context of this remarkable king.
Dr K.L. MAUND teaches in the School of History and Archaeology, University of Wales, Cardiff. Other contributors: DAVID MOORE, C.P. LEWIS, DAVID E. THORNTON, K.L. MAUND, JUDITH JESCH, NERYS ANN JONES, CERI DAVIES, J.E. CAERWYN WILLIAMS