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Dr Marion Loeffler

Dr Marion Loeffler

Reader in Welsh History

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

+44 (0)29 2087 0546
Room 5.39, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Welsh speaking


Recent public lectures and publications: 

'Darganfod Olion Iolo Morgannwg: Lle, Gwrthrych a Llên' (Discovering Iolo Morgannwg: Place, Object and Story), Eisteddfod Amgen 2020, 7 August 2020. Watch at 

'Mad Celts'? Menywod Blaengar Mudiad Celtaidd 1899 --c.1910' (Leading Women of the Celtic Movement, 1899- c.1910), Eisteddfod Amgen 2020, 14 July 2020. Watch at

'A Century of Change. The Eisteddfod and Welsh Cultural Nationalism’, in Krisztina Lajosi and Andreas Stynen (eds), Matica and Beyond: Cultural Associations and Nationalism in Europe (Brill: Leiden/Boston, 2020), pp. 233-54

I am a Reader in Welsh History, particularly interested in the relationships between Welsh culture, politics and religion, as well as in Wales's place in Georgian and Victorian Europe and the British Empire. The echoes of the French Revolution of 1789 in Wales, the history of the Welsh language, and knowledge transfer via translation are foci of my research. Awn y tu hwnt i Gymru, Lloegr a Llanrwst, felly.

Having grown up in the German Democratic Republic, I experienced the ground-breaking political changes that led to German re-unification before moving to live in Great Britain and Wales. As a result, I am interested in the interplay of individual lives and politics, and the role of language and translation in the transfer of knowledge and concepts in the past and the present, but especially between 1789 and the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

I research, publish and teach mainly through the medium of Welsh and English, am a native speaker of German, and have some Russian and French.

I have researched and presented five history documentaries for Welsh and German television and appear regularly on Radio Cymru and Sianel Pedwar Cymru.


I took my undergraduate degree and wrote my doctoral dissertation at Humboldt University Berlin, gaining my Dr.phil. in 1994. From 1994 until 2017, I worked at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, as a Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, and Head of Graduate Studies.

My early volume Englisch und Kymrisch in Wales: Geschichte der Sprachsituation und Sprachpolitik (1997) focused on the history of the English language in Wales. I contributed essays to the pioneering Social History of the Welsh Language (1994–2001) series, have published on the development of the Pan-Celtic movement in the nineteenth century, and was Managing Editor of the five-volume Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia (2001–2005), developed within the project on The Celtic Languages and Cultural Identity.  In 2007, I published a monograph on The Literary and Historical Legacy of Iolo Morganwg, 1826–1926, which outlined the influence the cultural entrepreneur and forger Edward Williams exerted on Welsh and international culture, but also which aspects of his rather radical life were forgotten in Victorian Wales. My volumes Welsh Responses to the French Revolution: Press and Public Discourse 1789-1802 (2012) and Political Pamphlets and Sermons from Wales 1790-1806 (2014) engage with the reception, reworking and distribution of political material, concepts and ideas in Wales. I am currently preparing a monograph on the research conducted during my Leverhulme-funded project 'Knowledge Transfer and Social Networks: European Learning and the Revolution in Welsh Victorian Scholarship' (2014-2016), which explores the life, times and European connections of the historian and social reformer Thomas Stephens of Merthyr Tydfil. Other current research interests include the development of political concepts like 'revolution' in the British Isles and their expressions in Welsh; and the way in which German diplomats and scholars linked Wales with a wider scholarly community, but also with the British Empire.

Honours and awards

Prize of the Editorial Board, The Transactions of the Radnorshire Society (2018)

Conference Grant, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (2016)

'Bravo Aberystwyth', radio documentary on the expulsion of a German professor in Aberystwyth in 1914, Welsh entry and shortlisted at the Celtic Media Festival, Inverness (2014)

Conference Grant, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (2014)

Project Grant, The Leverhulme Trust (2013-2015)

Prize of the Editorial Board, The Transactions of the Radnorshire Society (2012)

AHRC travel grant, XIII. International Congress of Celtic Studies, Bonn (2006)

European Small Film Festival, Special Jury Prize for the BBC Cymru/ORB Germany television documentary Yn ôl i’r Wal – Zurück zur Mauer (‘Back to the Wall’) (1999)

German-British Forum, Award for ‘The most positive contribution to German-British relations in 1998’ (for the BBC2 television documentary ‘Two Kisses for a Sleeping Princess’ on Wales in Europe – shared with Sir Norman Foster for his work on the Reichstag building in Berlin) (1998)

Postdoctoral research grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) (1994)

Postgraduate research grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) (1992)

Professional memberships

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

Women's Archive Wales

Women's History Network

Fellow of the Royal Historical Academy

British Society for Victorian Studies

Ceredigion Historical Society

Botwm Byd

Academic positions

July 2019 - present Reader in Welsh History, Cardiff University

2018 - July 2019 Lecturer in Welsh History, Cardiff University

2014 - present Assistant Editor Dictionary of Welsh Biography

1994 - 2017 Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow and Head of Graduate Studies at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth

1990 - 1994 Lecturer at the Department for English and American Studies, Humboldt University, Berlin

Speaking engagements

'Darganfod Olion Iolo Morgannwg: Lle, Gwrthrych a Llên' (Discovering Iolo Morgannwg: Place, Object and Story), Eisteddfod Amgen 2020, 7 August 2020. Watch at 

'Mad Celts'? Menywod Blaengar Mudiad Celtaidd 1899 --c.1910' (Leading Women of the Celtic Movement, 1899- c.1910), Eisteddfod Amgen 2020, 14 July 2020. Watch at

'Sut i droi Almaenes y Dwyrain yn Gymraes', Cymdeithas Cymraeg Porthcawl, Porthcael 24 January 2020

DDR: 'Land of Lost Content'?, Berlin Wall Falls 30 Years On: History, Politics and Identities, Conference at Cardiff University, 8 November 2019

'Cynyddu amrywiaeth a throsgynnu tabŵ yn Y Bywgraffiadur', Women's Archive Wales 22nd Annual Conference at St Fagans, 5-6 October 2019

'Virgins, Seductresses and Amazons: Englishmen, Welshmen and women at the end of the eighteenth century', Gender in Modern Welsh History Symposium: Rethinking Masculinity and Femininity in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Wales at Cardiff University 11 September 2019

'Translation and Politics 1800-1871-1914: The Historian's Tale', The XVIth International Congress of Celtic Studies, Bangor University, Bangor, 23 July 2019

'Wedi Ei Chwipio a Herwgipio: Menywod de Cymru yn Amser Rhyfelodd Napoleon', Noson Pendroni Tafwyl, 17 June 2019

'Executed on Cardiff Heath: Judge Hardinge and the Merthyr Martyrs of 1801', Free Lecture, Cardiff University, 15 May 2019

'Prince Albert, his German Librarian and their Celtic Connection', Dynastie und Kultur, 1719 --2019, Konferenz Schloss Friedenstein und Marburg University, Gotha, 9-11 May 2019

'Lady Llanover's International Friends', Llancaiach Society Annual Conference, Llancaiach, 23 March 2019

Introducing Mallt Williams', #ChampioningHerStory SHARE Cardiff University event celeberating Women's History Month, 15 March 2019

'"La Marseillaise" yng Nghymru, 1848, 1871 a 1914' ['La Marseillaise' in Wales, 1848, 1871 and 1914], Cardiff University presentation, National Eisteddfod of Wales Cardiff, 8 August 2018

'Yr Ustus Hardinge a Merthyron y Waun Ddyfal, 1801' [Judge Hardinge and the Martyrs of the Little Heath, 1801] History Forum Wales Lecture, National Eisteddfod of Wales Cardiff, 6 August 2018

'Y Gododdin, Cyfieithu a Gwleidyddiaeth Oes Victoria' [The Gododdin, Translation and Victorian Politics], Department for Welsh and Celtic Languages, Aberystwyth University, 21 March 2018

'The "good migrant" narrative and three generations of Germans in twentieth-century Wales', Llafur Day School on 'Migration Matters', St Fagans National Museum of History, 18 March 2018

'Trosglwyddo Syniadaeth y Chywldro Ffrengig? "La Marseillaise" yng Nghymru 1795-1915' [The Ideology of the French Revolution? "La Marseillaise" in Wales 1789-1914], Cynhadledd Hanes Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, Carmarthen, 14 February 2018

‘Thomas Stephens a Chymreigyddion y Fenni’, Darlith Cymdeithas Llanofer, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru Sir Fôn, Bodedeyrn, 9 Awst 2017

‘Merched, Y Bywgraffiadur a Sir Fôn’, Y Lle Hanes, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru Sir Fôn, Bodedeyrn, 9 Awst 2017

‘Olion Llenyddol Ymwelwyr â Llanofer’, Darlith Goffa Islwyn 2017, Ysgol y Gymraeg Prifysgol Caerdydd, 4 Ebrill 2017

‘Women, Religion and the Dictionary of Welsh Biography’, Ministry and Equilibrium Wales Spring Conferenc 2017, Plas Dolerw, Newtown, 18 March 2017

‘Translating political concepts for a non-state nation: “revolution” in Wales 1775–1815’, Third Conference of the U4 Network of Revolution: Political Upheaval Seen from Afar: Translation and Transformation in the Age of Revolution (1750–1850), University of Göttingen, 23–25 June 2016

‘“This nation” in 1716: considering the first political translation into Welsh’, University of Bangor and Aberystwyth symposium ‘Early Modern Wales: Space, Place and Displacement’, Aberystwyth, 6 July 2016

‘Wörter, Konzepte und Übersetzungen vom Spätmittelalter in die Frühneuzeit’, Marburger Interdisziplinäres Literaturwissenschaftlichen Kolloquium (ILK), Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg, 21 January 2016

Committees and reviewing

Assistant Editor Dictionary of Welsh Biogarphy

Manuscript Reviewer University of Wales Press

Journal Reviewer Welsh History Review












  • Loeffler, M. 2008. 'The murmur of Welsh voices': Jasper Fforde and Wales. In: Wolf, H., Peter, L. and Polzenhagen, F. eds. Focus on English. Linguistic Structure, language variation and discursive use. Studies in honour of Peter Lucko. Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag, pp. 261-269.
  • Loeffler, M. 2008. English in Wales. In: Momma, H. and Matto, M. eds. A Companion to the History of the English Language. Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 350-357.





  • Loeffler, M. 2003. Purism and the Welsh language: A matter of survival?. In: Brincat, J., Boeder, W. and Stolz, T. eds. Purism in Minor Languages, Endangered Languages, Regional Languages, Mixed Languages: Papers from the Conference "Purism in the Age of Globalisation" Bremen, September 2001. Volume 2 of Diversitas linguarum Brockmeyer, pp. 61-90.


  • Loeffler, M. 2002. Britisches Englisch. In: Janich, N. and Greule, A. eds. Sprachkulturen in Europa. Ein internationales Handbuch. Gunter Narr Verlag, pp. 19-26.
  • Loeffler, M. 2002. Kymrisch (Walisisch). In: Janich, N. and Greule, A. eds. Sprachkulturen in Europa. Ein internationales Handbuch. Gunter Narr Verlag, pp. 138-143.










Modern Welsh History; Wales and the French Revolution; Cultural History

Entangled Histories: Wales and the Wider World, 1714–1858 (Year 2)

This module will engage with the way in which key economic, political and religious events connected Wales with developments in the remainder of the British Isles, in Europe, and in the British Empire. In order to analyse deeply enmeshed domains of society and to transcend political borders, we shall base our work on the concept of histoire croisée or Verflechtungsgeschichte, i.e. entangled history. Actors and subjects in our story will be Welshmen and -women, as well as Germans, Englishmen and Frenchmen, a zamindar from Bengal and a Polish prince. We will chart the tracks of Jacobites, Tories and Whigs, Jacobins, radicals and loyalists, antiquaries and translators, diplomats, royals, soldiers and spies, always in search of their role in connecting Wales with the world.

Wales, the English reform movement and the French Revolution of 1789 (Year 3)

Political activity in Wales before the Napoleonic Wars has been viewed mainly in the context of the French Revolution of 1789. However, with very few exceptions, ideas and political material reached Wales filtered through the English language, and the English political reform, republican and loyalist movements. American and English political publications were read, distributed and translated, and the new democratic cultural forms arising in Anglo-America adopted into Welsh culture. Welsh radicals and loyalists alike moved in a British and transatlantic political landscape and public sphere from which they showed little sign of breaking away, in contrast to Ireland.

In this module, we will analyse key texts, songs and paintings of the period between the American War of Independence and the Napoleonic Wars. Our primary aim is to explore in which way Welsh men and women received external political ideas, and whether we can still consider this influence to be that of the French Revolution of 1789 or should attempt a more nuanced assessment. We shall consider the relationship between economic development, war and (political) protest, the close links between religion and politics, and the role of women in Welsh religion and politics of the time.

If all this sounds like a return to political history, bear in mind that most of our sources here were created by barely educated (yet bilingual) individuals in a rural country without a university or a town of more than 7,000 inhabitants. Discuss!

All Welsh-language sources will be available in English translation.

Modern Welsh History and Cultural History

My research focuses on Wales in its British, European and Empire contexts, and on the interplay of politics, religion, culture (in its narrower sense) and language between c.1715 and the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The decades between the French Revolution of 1789 and the 1850s, alternatively called Biedermeier, the Age of Revolutions, and the Romantic period, are at the centre of my research.  In Wales, they were marked by a cultural renaissance, partial industrialisation and social unrest.

I am interested in how ideas and concepts travelled over time and space.What was in people's minds when they were discussing 'druids' or 'revolution' in different periods and languages? As Assistant Editor of the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, I consider lives as the shortest strands of history, microcosms shaping and shaped by larger historical events. I explore how the religious was political and vice versa in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Who were the Unitarians and why were they such political firebrands? Last but not least, the dual identity of Wales and the Welsh as internal colony and member of the Empire form the basis of my research and teaching.

Projects on which I have worked include:

  • A Social History of the Welsh Language
  • Iolo Morganwg and the Romantic Tradition in Wales
  • Wales and the French Revolution
  • The Celtic Languages and Cultural Identity
  • Knowledge Transfer and Social Networks: European Scholarship and the Revolution in Welsh Victiorian Learning

I currently supervise two PhD students not enrolled in Cardiff University. Their research explores ship-wrecking along the Welsh coast c.1700-1830; and Cyfieithiadau'r Gymraeg c.1789-1900 (Translations into Welsh c. 1789-1900).


Cultural, political and religious history of Wales

History of women in Wales

History of cultural institutions and groups in Wales, such as the eisteddfod

Conceptual history / Begriffsgeschichte

Connections between Wales and Germany

Wales as internal colony and participant in Empire

Welsh biography

Celticism and Medievalism