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The sequels do feature Howl and Sophie, but they're participants in other peoples' stories rather than it being their story. Yes - the scarecrow changing into the lost prince at the end of the movie is something that I completely forgot to mention.
Sometimes these posts get so long I lose track of the details. Gosh, I've seen the movie literally a hundred times or more and I've never gotten the impression that Sophie had magic. Do you mean the parts where she changes in age, maybe? Or when the ring leads her back in time? I can't wait to read the sequels, and more from Diana Wynne Jones in general.
Thanks for stopping by Andrea! No, both in the hat making she doesn't talk to them, but the success of the shop suggests that they're casting glamours on people and in the way "the magic world" behaves towards her. The castle, for instance, slows to let her in without any instruction from Calcifer.
In the movie when Sophie and Markl are near the harbor and the ship is sinking Sophie sees the blob-men and wonders how nobody else is noticing them: In any case, she didn't need the magic in the movie.
I think it's implied when Calsifer reacts so strongly to her hair too. I don't think he would have if she wasn't inclined to magic. I'm going to come back to this post once I've read the book and seen the movie!
Yep, I still haven't, terrible isn't it! I have never seen this movie OR read this book. I will have to change that soon Honestly, I really can't think of many examples where I feel the movie adaptation has been better or at least equally as good as the book version. Still, I'm looking forward to giving this a shot. The movie of howls moving castle is sadly not one of the examples of the movie being better or equally as good as the book.
The princess bride is, however See that movie Only read the book of howls moving castle. Well, I never seen the movie but Spirited Away is one of my favourites or read the book and now I have to decide which one to do first. But I think I would take Wales over war any day: This is a great review of the book and the movie!
I've read the book and watched the movie and love both for different reasons. The book is such a wonderful adventure about Sophie that is very well written as well as fun and exciting to read. The movie which is just as fun, seems so different from the book. The characters are there but the story and feel of the book is just not the same. Although the story is different, Miyazaki's animation is so amazing that it makes up for all the major changes in story.
I recommend both versions, each for it's mental and visual aspects. Ah yes, I'm just finally settling down to read this one even though I already know how you feel , so happy to read your detailed thoughts! I too was disappointed that a lot of the quirk and charm seemed to have been left out of the movie, like talking to hats and suits and what not. I didn't think movie Sophie was near sassy enough.
P I think I was even more disappointed about the changes in Howl, the fact that he isn't the 'flirty drama queen' was a let down. I also loved the connection to Wales in the book with Howl and Sulliman. Plus, I wasn't compelled to watch the ending of the movie repeatedly as I was compelled to read the ending of Howl.
Still, they're both great I'll stick to Spirited Away. So I read the book and I never saw the movie but was disappointed to hear that it was anime. So I saw the trailer and was like what the heck?!?! Howls is not a bird!! And I pictured the castle as being black and not very big and NOT having legs! Oh gosh, I thought I was the only one who liked the book more than the movie. I watched the movie first, but I feel so much of their personalities just get lost in making room for the 'war.
I love the seen in the book with the weed killer as well because it was just so darn Sophie, and I missed that in the movie is well. I've read the other two books as well, so you should enjoy them! I think that was the point. How often do people really know what a war is about?
Any time there ever has been a war, you'll hear different stories, different reasons, about what brought it on. It's why you'll have people split on support for or against the war. I feel the same as the author. I loved the movie so much I went and ordered it and was just almost angry at how different they are which was just absurd right! I was looking at the book like it had three eyes with the whole connection to Wales..
I truly love this magical movie and I feel compelled to read the book now. It will really break my heart when I read all these changes for myself and have the movie ruined for me.
We just watched this movie last night with my five year old for the 20th time. Admittedly I have not read the book yet, but in the Studio Ghibli version I always thought of Sophie's curse as more of a lesson. At a young age Sophie behaved and instilled the idea of her life being done before she even taken a chance to live. The curse really made her outside match her inside as she journeyed through the movie and slowly over time became more brazen while discovering her own self worth.
For each brave step forward she took, the curse gradually rescinded. So in essence she had to learn that she had a life worth living in order to get her youth back. In the movie when you have scenes of her being young then switching back to old it always tied to her losing her self confidence again.
I love studio ghibli adaptations and originals. They are always artfully done. The addition of blobs and other such things ties in to the creator's whole collection of films. His signature to the film adaptation you could say.
I love how the movie depicts Sophie's curse weakening when she becomes stronger at times. It's like giving a clearer reason for her curse and that she can win over it by herself, while in the book, Sophie's curse is destroyed by Calcifer, though it also reflects and punishes her for wasting her life doing boring stuff.
But I think it's more like reality in the book, anyway. Not so optimistic and cliched. The film is like This Sophie is a kickin' badass! I so love how she deals with Howl! Not to mention all those 'Gah! What a unique way to enlightenment! And after that when Sophie thinks she has to leave because Howl loves Miss Angorian, oh that scene tore my heart! Strong Sophie reduced to a heap! Well, I admit both versions are great, but in a very different way.
And the book, with its zesty, spicy humor and charm suits me better that the sweetness of the movie. Calcifer never destroys Sophie's curse: She didn't curse herself, she just didn't want to let go of the curse the witch of the waste put on her because she was so mousish as a girl, but could speak her mind and stay with Howl and Michael and Calcifer and not have to go back and spend all her time working in a hat shop. She finally gets rid of the curse because she realises she can do all that, and be her real age and love Howl.
Howl destroys the Witch, but not her fire-demon. Sophie breaks Calcifer's contract, giving him extra life. Calcifer removes the Witch's part of the curse. It works because Sophie has now accepted her own strength and magic, and no longer needs to cling to her elderly self-image. She happens to notice that her hair has turned red again. Howl destroys the Witch's fire-demon.
I watched the movie last week and I just finished reading the book, and I see a lot of what you're talking about. However, I do have to disagree with what you say about the book being better than the movie. I think most people go in expecting the movie to be a remake of the book.
Miyazaki just took the idea and made it into his own movie. Diana Wynne Jones had no part in making the movie at all. This was entirely Miyazaki's brain-child and creation. I guess it's kind of like when people write spin-off fanfics or things like that. Not only that, Miyazaki makes movies quite differently from what most people are used to as he pulls from his Japanese background.
Especially because Howl's Moving Castle is supposed to based off of a book, I think it is quite easily misunderstood. Miyazaki does a really great job of creating a statement through his works, and Howl's Moving Castle is no exception.
I really love the book, and I always want to love the movie I mean, I love Miyazaki , but I really can't. It's just so unrecognizable I kind of disagree that it keeps the general sense of book. The book, to me was always more about the journey to discovering the true nature of yourself and those around you, while the movie always felt far too concerned with the power of love and trust in family and community.
For example, in the book and movie, Sophie starts out relatively similar: In the book, her curse facilitates a change her: She more freely imposes her opinions on others and expresses herself more assertivelly.
She also seems to do this in the movie, though the movie lacks the defining change in how she sees herself—the moment she realizes that she has magic and that it is an actual force she can wield. In the book, when the curse is lifted, she retains her new outlook on herself and the world: In the movie, she appears to revert, to a large extent, to the person she was before, trusting and dependent though we see so little post curse and pre-curse Sophie to really tell.
The largest sacrifice in the movie for me, though, was Howl. In the book, he is a brat. A pain in the ass. A wimp, a coward, a hypocrite, and an egotist. It isn't until we, and Sophie, get to know him better, that we learn that he is an intellectual and a family man.
A large part of Howl's charm is that he is terrified that someone will figure out that he is tender and loving—that he cares—so he puts up walls of vanity and selfishness in order to hide it. The movie lacks this depth. The three or four layer Howl in the book—the Evil Wizard, the Devoted Lover, the Vapid Dandy, and the Tenacious Hero—is in the movie reduced into a simplistic romantic Hero, with only a single scene that illustrates his abrasive and dramatic nature.
I could go on about it forever I just don't think the book and movie should even be compared, they are so different. I forgot to finish my point! These characterizations from the book are so much more nuanced and interesting, and they support a more intriguing theme than the characters in the movie and it's not like it's hard for movies to have nuanced characters The movie has always been, to me, overly concerned with making sure that we know that Howl, Sophie, Calcifer, and TWoTW are good people who should be loved.
The book is far more willing to say, "hey, they're people: And you are worth it, even if you're complicated and little messed up too. That was the worst part of this film for me. This book is amazing, because its funny and yet still has this massively romantic aspect to it, and not just between Howls and Sophie, they miss everything that makes Howl Howl. His drama, the weird love of spiders, how filthy he is in his home yet how vain he is in the way he looks, the way he breaks womens hearts and is actually pretending to be 4 people at once.
He is welsh, he actually goes to great lengths to avoid doing what the king wants yet spends the whole film fighting in the war. He is supposed to be a little brat who needs a smack and its Sophie who comes in and does that and makes this a really amazing story.
The film is ridiculously boring compared to the book and it wouldve made it 10x better had they just kept Howl imperfect, which is the way he is meant to be. That is such a teenage girl thing to think. So I get why you think it. The way Sophie starts out in the book is really nothing like she starts out ion the movie. In the book she is a witch with a capital B, and it makes you want to hit her. And Howell is like an STD waiting to happen.
He is such a girly man. I couldn't find much charm in either of them. The movie is absolutely perfect. It actually turns them both into believable likable people. I believe that your comment, Martine, is "such a teenage girl thing to think".
Jones writes them as real people, they have faults, such as Sophie getting so fed up with the role she's assigned herself in life and taking it out on the customers. And Howl throwing magnificent tantrums because some people are just dramatic. I love the movie but it strips them of their humanity in order to turn them into the heroes.
You prefer the simple romance, you don't like real human characters. This is really interesting to read and so are the comments. I'm actually taking a course on Miyazaki and his films. I saw the movie first and then read the book. I love them both. One thing about Miyazaki is that he doesn't believe that you should cross mediums. He was very adamant about that when he was younger. When he first wrote Nausicaa he drew it as detailed as he could so that no one could ever make it into a movie.
He really strongly believed that when you created something to be a book, it should stay a book. If it was better as a movie, then it should just be a movie. Now while obviously his mind was changed since Nausicaa was made into a movie and Earthsea, and Howl's , I think that by changing details and making it his own, he was trying to respect the original story. You can see in a lot of his work where he combines several stories he likes into something else.
Nausicaa was a combination of his own fantasy world, the Japanese myth of the Girl Who Loved Caterpillars, and Nausicaa, the girl from the Odyssey that literally rescues Odysseus. You also see a lot of stuff he sticks in all his movies. Like airplanes and war, for example. His dad's job during the war was to build airplanes, so he was exposed to that a lot as a kid.
When I finished reading the book I found it hard to compare it to the movie because they were each so unique and carried their own meanings to me.
Okay, maybe The Hobbit was written before lotr but i'm not supposed to read the trilogy, am i? This is something I couldn't not comment on. I have always felt unbelievably passionate about this. It simply infuriates me. Diana Wynne Jones is an amazing writer, shes one of the best in Britain and it drove me mad.
Howls mOving Castle was a great film, but only when you consider it a film on its own. After I saw it, I wanted to read the book, I fell so in love with the book that I must have read it 20x when I was younger. And the film now drives me mad. Because it is the most exaggerated thing I have ever seen. Yes, there are some similarites, but these two things are so different they may as well not have the same title.
Not just because of all the reasons this author already outlined, but because of so much more. Thomas made his first simple spoon in as a gift for his girlfriend. That spoon worked its magic -- and Thomas has been making increasingly elaborate utensils every year to commemorate his life together with his wife. So, it's our wedding spoon," Thomas replied. Each spoon starts as a single piece of wood. After drawing and cutting out a design, Thomas will spend hours crafting custom spoons for couples who may not be as handy as he is.
You can say a lot with a spoon. Each twist, each knot signifies something important. At Castle Welsh Crafts in the capital city of Cardiff, owner Bob Rice guides his customers through the language of lovespoons. A symbol such as a wheel means "I will work for you. A referendum on extending the law-making powers of the National Assembly was accordingly held on 3 March It asked the question: Consequently, the Assembly is now empowered to make laws, known as Acts of the Assembly , on all matters in the subject areas, without needing the UK Parliament's agreement.
Nevertheless, the Welsh Assembly has deployed their own envoy to America, primarily to promote Wales-specific business interests. For the purposes of local government, Wales has been divided into 22 council areas since These "principal areas"  are responsible for the provision of all local government services, including education, social work, environment and roads services. Wales has six cities. By tradition, Welsh Law was compiled during an assembly held at Whitland around by Hywel Dda , king of most of Wales between and his death in The 'law of Hywel Dda' Welsh: Cyfraith Hywel , as it became known, codified the previously existing folk laws and legal customs that had evolved in Wales over centuries.
Welsh Law emphasised the payment of compensation for a crime to the victim, or the victim's kin, rather than punishment by the ruler. English law has been the legal system of England and Wales since ,  although there is now a growing body of contemporary Welsh law following Welsh devolution. English law is regarded as a common law system, with no major codification of the law and legal precedents are binding as opposed to persuasive.
The court system is headed by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom which is the highest court of appeal in the land for criminal and civil cases. The Senior Courts of England and Wales is the highest court of first instance as well as an appellate court. Minor cases are heard by the Magistrates' Courts or the County Court.
From that point, Wales became a legal unit in its own right, although it remains part of the single jurisdiction of England and Wales. The Welsh Assembly has the authority to draft and approve laws outside of the UK Parliamentary system to meet the specific needs of Wales.
Under powers approved by a referendum held in March , it is empowered to pass primary legislation known as Acts of the Assembly in relation to twenty subjects listed in the Government of Wales Act such as health and education. Through this primary legislation, the Welsh Government can then also enact more specific secondary legislation.
Wales has no women's prisons; female inmates are imprisoned in England. Wales is a generally mountainous country on the western side of central southern Great Britain. Much of Wales' diverse landscape is mountainous, particularly in the north and central regions.
The mountains were shaped during the last ice age, the Devensian glaciation. The highest outside the s is Aran Fawddwy , at metres 2, feet , in the south of Snowdonia. The highest point being Pumlumon at metres 2, feet. Wales has three national parks: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast. Forty two percent of the coastline of south and west Wales is designated as Heritage Coast , with 13 specific designated strips of coastline maintained by Natural Resources Wales successor body to the Countryside Council for Wales.
On the night of 25 October , over ships were destroyed off the coast of Wales when a hurricane blew in from the Atlantic. The first border between Wales and England was zonal, apart from around the River Wye, which was the first accepted boundary.
The Seven Wonders of Wales is a list in doggerel verse of seven geographic and cultural landmarks in Wales probably composed in the late 18th century under the influence of tourism from England. Snowdon the highest mountain , the Gresford bells the peal of bells in the medieval church of All Saints at Gresford , the Llangollen bridge built in over the River Dee , St Winefride's Well a pilgrimage site at Holywell in Flintshire , the Wrexham Wrecsam steeple 16th-century tower of St Giles' Church, Wrexham , the Overton yew trees ancient yew trees in the churchyard of St.
The earliest geological period of the Paleozoic era, the Cambrian , takes its name from the Cambrian Mountains , where geologists first identified Cambrian remnants. The older rocks underlying the Cambrian rocks in Wales lacked fossils which could be used to differentiate their various groups and were referred to as Pre-cambrian. In the midth century, two prominent geologists, Roderick Murchison and Adam Sedgwick who first proposed the name of the Cambrian period , independently used their studies of the geology of Wales to establish certain principles of stratigraphy and palaeontology.
The next two periods of the Paleozoic era, the Ordovician and Silurian , were named after ancient Celtic tribes from this area based on Murchison's and Sedgwick's work. Wales lies within the north temperate zone.
It has a changeable, maritime climate and is one of the wettest countries in Europe. Average annual coastal temperatures reach It becomes cooler at higher altitudes; annual temperatures decrease on average approximately 0. The ocean current, bringing warmer water to northerly latitudes, has a similar effect on most of north-west Europe. As well as its influence on Wales' coastal areas, air warmed by the Gulf Stream blows further inland with the prevailing winds.
At low elevations, summers tend to be warm and sunny. Winters tend to be fairly wet, but rainfall is rarely excessive and the temperature usually stays above freezing. The sunniest time of year tends to be between May and August. The south-western coast is the sunniest part of Wales, averaging over hours of sunshine annually. Wales' sunniest town is Tenby , Pembrokeshire. The dullest time of year tends to be between November and January. The least sunny areas are the mountains, some parts of which average less than hours of sunshine annually.
Coastal areas are the windiest, gales occur most often during winter, on average between 15 and 30 days each year, depending on location. Inland, gales average fewer than six days annually. Rainfall patterns show significant variation. Snow falls several times each winter in inland areas but is relatively uncommon around the coast. Wales' wildlife is typical of Britain with several distinctions. Because of its long coastline, Wales hosts a variety of seabirds. The coasts and surrounding islands are home to colonies of gannets , Manx shearwater , puffins , kittiwakes , shags and razorbills.
The larger Welsh mammals died out during the Norman period, including the brown bear, wolf and the wildcat. The pine marten which has had the occasional sighting, has not been officially recorded since the s.
The polecat was nearly driven to extinction in Britain, but hung on in Wales and is now rapidly spreading. Feral goats can be found in Snowdonia. The waters of south-west Wales of Gower, Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay attract marine animals, including basking sharks , Atlantic grey seals , leatherback turtles, dolphins , porpoises , jellyfish, crabs and lobsters. Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, in particular, are recognised as an area of international importance for bottlenose dolphins , and New Quay has the only summer residence of bottlenose dolphins in the whole of the UK.
River fish of note include char , eel , salmon , shad , sparling and Arctic char , whilst the Gwyniad is unique to Wales, found only in Bala Lake. The north facing high grounds of Snowdonia support a relict pre-glacial flora including the iconic Snowdon lily — Gagea serotina — and other alpine species such as Saxifraga cespitosa , Saxifraga oppositifolia and Silene acaulis.
Wales also hosts a number of plant species not found elsewhere in the UK including the spotted rock-rose Tuberaria guttata on Anglesey and Draba aizoides  on the Gower. Over the last years, Wales has been transformed first from a predominantly agricultural country to an industrial, and now a post-industrial economy. From the middle of the 19th century until the post-war era, the mining and export of coal was a dominant industry.
At its peak of production in , nearly , men and women were employed in the south Wales coalfield , mining 56 million tons of coal. In the late s and early s, Wales was successful in attracting an above average share of foreign direct investment in the UK.
Because of poor-quality soil, much of Wales is unsuitable for crop-growing and livestock farming has traditionally been the focus of agriculture.
The Welsh landscape protected by three national parks and 45 Blue Flag beaches , as well as the unique culture of Wales, attract large numbers of tourists, who play an especially vital role in the economy of rural areas.
The pound sterling is the currency used in Wales. Numerous Welsh banks issued their own banknotes in the 19th century. The last bank to do so closed in ; since then, although banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland continue to have the right to issue banknotes in their own countries, the Bank of England has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in Wales. However, Wales has not been represented on any coin minted from The main road artery along the south Wales coast is the M4 motorway.
It also provides a link to southern England, terminating in London. The A55 expressway has a similar role along the north Wales coast, connecting Holyhead and Bangor with Wrexham and Flintshire. It also links to north-west England, principally Chester. The main north-south Wales link is the A , which runs from Cardiff to Llandudno. Cardiff International Airport is the only large and international airport in Wales.
Other internal flights operate to northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Welsh Government manages those parts of the British railway network within Wales. Cardiff Central is Wales' busiest railway station, with over four times as much passenger traffic as any other station in Wales. Beeching cuts in the s mean that most of the remaining network is geared toward east-west travel connecting with the Irish Sea ports for ferries to Ireland.
All trains in Wales are diesel-powered since no lines have been electrified. Wales has four commercial ferry ports. Regular ferry services to Ireland operate from Holyhead , Pembroke and Fishguard. The Swansea to Cork service, cancelled in , was reinstated in March , but has been withdrawn again in A distinct education system has developed in Wales.
The first grammar schools were established in Welsh towns such as Ruthin , Brecon and Cowbridge. At the end of the day, the wearer of the "not" would be beaten. The University College of Wales opened in Aberystwyth in Cardiff and Bangor followed, and the three colleges came together in to form the University of Wales.
The Welsh Department for the Board of Education followed in , which gave Wales its first significant educational devolution. In —, there were 1, maintained schools in Wales. Historically, Wales was served by smaller 'cottage' hospitals, built as voluntary institutions. A History of Wales. The population of Wales doubled from , in to 1,, in and had reached 2,, by Most of the increase came in the coal mining districts, especially Glamorganshire , which grew from 71, in to , in and 1,, in However, there was also large-scale migration into Wales during the Industrial Revolution.
The English were the most numerous group, but there were also considerable numbers of Irish and smaller numbers of other ethnic groups,   including Italians , who migrated to South Wales. Many of these self-identify as Welsh. The census showed Wales' population to be 3,,, the highest in its history. The UK census was criticised in Wales for not offering 'Welsh' as an option to describe respondents' national identity.
Respondents were instructed to "tick all that apply" from a list of options that included Welsh. The outcome was that No Welsh national identity was indicated by The proportion giving their sole national identity as British was No British national identity was indicated by The census showed Wales to be less ethnically diverse than any region of England: The lowest proportion of White British The proportion born in Wales varies across the country, with the highest percentages in the south Wales valleys and the lowest in mid Wales and parts of the north-east.
The total fertility rate TFR in Wales was 1. In his work Archaeologia Britannica Edward Lhuyd , keeper of the Ashmolean Museum , noted the similarity between the two Celtic language families: He argued that the Brythonic languages originated in Gaul France and that the Goidelic languages originated in the Iberian Peninsula.
Lhuyd concluded that as the languages had been of Celtic origin, the people who spoke those languages were Celts. According to a more recent hypothesis, also widely embraced today, Goidelic and Brythonic languages, collectively known as Insular Celtic languages , evolved together for some time separately from Continental Celtic languages such as Gaulish and Celtiberian.
From the 18th century, the peoples of Brittany , Cornwall , Ireland , Isle of Man , Scotland and Wales were known increasingly as Celts, and they are regarded as the modern Celtic nations today. The Bible translations into Welsh helped to maintain the use of Welsh in daily life.
The Welsh Language Act and the Government of Wales Act provide that the English and Welsh languages be treated on a basis of equality, and both are used as working languages within the National Assembly. Code-switching is common in all parts of Wales and is known by various terms, though none is recognised by professional linguists. It has been influenced significantly by Welsh grammar and includes words derived from Welsh.
According to John Davies, Wenglish has "been the object of far greater prejudice than anything suffered by Welsh". The Census showed , people, Road signs in Wales are generally in both English and Welsh; where place names differ in the two languages, both versions are used e. Under new regulations that came into force in , the Welsh Language Commissioner requires local authorities and Welsh Government to ensure that all new or renewed road signs that use both languages to feature the Welsh language first.
During the 20th century, a number of small communities of speakers of languages other than Welsh or English, such as Bengali or Cantonese , established themselves in Wales as a result of immigration. The largest religion in Wales is Christianity, with The Presbyterian Church of Wales was born out of the Welsh Methodist revival in the 18th century and seceded from the Church of England in Islam is the largest non-Christian religion in Wales, with 24, 0.
There are also communities of Hindus and Sikhs , mainly in the south Wales cities of Newport, Cardiff and Swansea, while the largest concentration of Buddhists is in the western rural county of Ceredigion. The remnants of the native Celtic mythology of the pre-Christian Britons was passed down orally, in much-altered form, by the cynfeirdd the early poets.
Wales can claim one of the oldest unbroken literary traditions in Europe. The Poets of the Princes were professional poets who composed eulogies and elegies to the Welsh princes while the Poets of the Gentry were a school of poets that favoured the cywydd metre.
Despite the extinction of the professional poet, the integration of the native elite into a wider cultural world did bring other literary benefits. Major developments in 19th-century Welsh literature include Lady Charlotte Guest's translation of the Mabinogion, one of the most important medieval Welsh prose tales of Celtic mythology, into English. The 20th century experienced an important shift away from the stilted and long-winded Victorian Welsh prose, with Thomas Gwynn Jones leading the way with his work Ymadawiad Arthur.
Though the inter-war period is dominated by Saunders Lewis , for his political and reactionary views as much as his plays, poetry and criticism. Thomas was one of the most notable and popular Welsh writers of the 20th century and one of the most innovative poets of his time.
The attitude of the post-war generation of Welsh writers in English towards Wales differs from the previous generation, in that they were more sympathetic to Welsh nationalism and to the Welsh language.
The change can be linked to the nationalist fervour generated by Saunders Lewis and the burning of the Bombing School on the Lleyn Peninsula in , along with a sense of crisis generated by World War II. Thomas — was the most important figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century. While he "did not learn the Welsh language until he was 30 and wrote all his poems in English",  he wanted the Welsh language to be made the first language of Wales, and the official policy of bilingualism abolished.
The major novelist in the second half of the twentieth century was Emyr Humphreys Born near Abergavenny , Williams continued the earlier tradition of writing from a left-wing perspective on the Welsh industrial scene in his trilogy " Border Country " , "Second Generation" , and "The Fight for Manod" He also enjoyed a reputation as a cultural historian.
The National Museum [of] Wales was founded by royal charter in and is now a Welsh Government sponsored body. In April , the attractions attached to the National Museum were granted free entry by the Assembly, and this action saw the visitor numbers to the sites increase during — by Aberystwyth is home to the National Library of Wales , which houses some of the most important collections in Wales, including the Sir John Williams Collection and the Shirburn Castle collection.
Many works of Celtic art have been found in Wales. A number of illuminated manuscripts from Wales survive, of which the 8th-century Hereford Gospels and Lichfield Gospels are the most notable. The 11th-century Ricemarch Psalter now in Dublin is certainly Welsh, made in St David's , and shows a late Insular style with unusual Viking influence.
The best of the few Welsh artists of the 16th—18th centuries tended to leave the country to work, many of them moving to London or Italy. Richard Wilson —82 is arguably the first major British landscapist. Although more notable for his Italian scenes, he painted several Welsh scenes on visits from London. By the late 18th century, the popularity of landscape art grew and clients were found in the larger Welsh towns, allowing more Welsh artists to stay in their homeland.
Artists from outside Wales were also drawn to paint Welsh scenery, at first because of the Celtic Revival. Then in the early 19th century, the Napoleonic Wars preventing the Grand Tour to continental Europe, travel through Wales came to be considered more accessible. An Act of Parliament in provided for the establishment of a number of art schools throughout the United Kingdom and the Cardiff School of Art opened in Graduates still very often had to leave Wales to work, but Betws-y-Coed became a popular centre for artists and its artists' colony helped form the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art in Christopher Williams , whose subjects were mostly resolutely Welsh, was also based in London.
Stephens and Andrew Vicari had very successful careers as portraitists based respectively in the United States and France. Many Welsh painters gravitated towards the art capitals of Europe. However, the landscapists Sir Kyffin Williams and Peter Prendergast lived in Wales for most of their lives, while remaining in touch with the wider art world. Ceri Richards was very engaged in the Welsh art scene as a teacher in Cardiff and even after moving to London.
He was a figurative painter in international styles including Surrealism. The Kardomah Gang was an intellectual circle centred on the poet Dylan Thomas and poet and artist Vernon Watkins in Swansea, which also included the painter Alfred Janes. South Wales had several notable potteries , one of the first important sites being the Ewenny Pottery in Bridgend , which began producing earthenware in the 17th century. It was officially recognised as the Welsh national flag in George which then represented the Kingdom of England and Wales.
The daffodil and the leek are also symbols of Wales. The origins of the leek can be traced to the 16th century, while the daffodil became popular in the 19th century, encouraged by David Lloyd George. The Prince of Wales' heraldic badge is also sometimes used to symbolise Wales. The badge, known as the Prince of Wales's feathers , consists of three white feathers emerging from a gold coronet. A ribbon below the coronet bears the German motto Ich dien I serve.
Several Welsh representative teams, including the Welsh rugby union, and Welsh regiments in the British Army the Royal Welsh , for example use the badge or a stylised version of it. The Prince of Wales has claimed that only he has the authority to use the symbol. Land of My Fathers is the National Anthem of Wales, and is played at events such as football or rugby matches involving the Wales national team as well as the opening of the Welsh Assembly and other official occasions.
More than 50 national governing bodies regulate and organise their sports in Wales. Although football has traditionally been the more popular sport in north Wales , rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness. The five professional sides that replaced the traditional club sides in major competitions in were replaced in by the four regions: Cardiff Blues , Dragons , Ospreys and Scarlets. Wales has had its own football league , the Welsh Premier League , since Rugby league in Wales dates back to The Crusaders competed in the top level Super League competition from — A professional Welsh League existed from to Wales has produced several world-class participants of individual sports including snooker players Ray Reardon , Terry Griffiths , Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens.
Wales also has a tradition of producing world-class boxers. Wales has hosted several international sporting events. All Welsh television broadcasts are digital. The last of the analogue transmitters ceased broadcasts in April , and Wales became the UK's first digital nation. BBC Cymru Wales is the national broadcaster. Its output was mostly Welsh-language at peak hours but shared English-language content with Channel 4 at other times.
Since the digital switchover in April , the channel has broadcast exclusively in Welsh. Their remaining output is commissioned from ITV and independent producers. Several regional radio stations broadcast in Welsh: Most of the newspapers sold and read in Wales are national newspapers available throughout Britain, unlike in Scotland where many newspapers have rebranded into Scottish-based titles.
The Western Mail is Wales' only national daily newspaper. Magazines published in Welsh and English cover general and specialist subjects. Cambria , a Welsh affairs magazine published bi-monthly in English, has subscribers in over 30 countries. Although both beef and dairy cattle are raised widely, especially in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, Wales is more well known for its sheep farming and thus lamb is the meat traditionally associated with Welsh cooking.
Traditional dishes include laverbread made from laver Porphyra umbilicalis , an edible seaweed ; bara brith fruit bread ; cawl a lamb stew ; cawl cennin leek soup ; Welsh cakes ; and Welsh lamb. Cockles are sometimes served as a traditional breakfast with bacon and laverbread. Although Wales has its own traditional food and has absorbed much of the cuisine of England, Welsh diets now owe more to the countries of India , China and the United States.
Wales is often referred to as "the land of song",  and is notable for its harpists, male choirs, and solo artists. The principal Welsh festival of music and poetry is the annual National Eisteddfod. The Llangollen International Eisteddfod echoes the National Eisteddfod but provides an opportunity for the singers and musicians of the world to perform.
Traditional music and dance in Wales is supported by a myriad of societies. The Welsh Folk Song Society has published a number of collections of songs and tunes. Traditional instruments of Wales include telyn deires triple harp , fiddle, crwth , pibgorn hornpipe and other instruments.
Popular bands that emerged from Wales include the Beatles-nurtured power pop group Badfinger in the s, Man and Budgie in the s and the Alarm in the s.