John Davies (historian)

John Davies (historian)

John Davies (born 1938) is a Welsh historian, and a television and radio broadcaster.

Davies was born in the Rhondda, and studied at both University College, Cardiff, and Trinity College, Cambridge. He is married with four children. After teaching Welsh history at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, he retired to Cardiff, and appears frequently as a presenter and contributor to history programmes on television and radio.

In the mid-eighties, 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 then 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.

With the continued growth of Welsh institutions and the growth in the number of Welsh speakers, Davies wrote in 1992 "it is more stimulating to be a member of the Welsh nation in the last decade of the twentieth century then it has ever been before."

In 2005 Davies received the Glyndŵr Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales during the Machynlleth Festival.


*"A History of Wales", Penguin, 1994, ISBN 0-14-014581-8 (Revised edition 2007, ISBN 0-140-28475-3)
*"Cardiff and the Marquesses of Bute"
*"Broadcasting and the BBC in Wales"
*"The Making of Wales"
*"The Celts"


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