Secret Sins

Sex, Violence and Society in Carmarthenshire 1870-1920, New Edition

Russell Davies

Russell Davies

Distributed for University of Wales Press

344 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 1996
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780708325568 Published January 2013 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
In Secret Sins, Russell Davies reveals Carmarthenshire, a rural society in southeast Wales, to have been a hotbed of debauchery, violence, and drunkenness during the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. After an overview of the economic, social, and political changes in Carmarthenshire between 1870 and 1920, Davies probes the records of people’s private lives to analyze the reluctance about education in farming communities, the influence of religion, the continuation of superstitions, and the rich variety of popular culture. This meticulously researched book gives a major new appraisal of the social history of an area of rural and industrial Wales that many had heretofore believed to be thoroughly law abiding, moral, and respectable.
Western Mail
Secret Sins is a human and humane book. . . . It succeeds admirably in its purpose in exposing cosy myths.”
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Private Lives, Public Witnesses: The Individual and Society in Carmarthenshire

1. A Sense of Place
2. A Psychic Crisis? The Social Context of Mental Illness and Suicide
3. ‘Secret Sins’: Crime and Protest
4. Sexuality and Tension
5. Spiritual Skeletons: Religion, Superstition and Popular Culture
6. Conclusion: Carmarthenshire and Welsh Society

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