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Marion Loeffler

Dr Marion Loeffler

Reader in Welsh History and History, Director of International

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

+44 29208 70546
John Percival Building, Room Room 5.39, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU
Welsh speaking
Available for postgraduate supervision


Nominated in Cardiff Students Union 'Enriching Student Life Awards' as 'Personal Tutor of the Year', 'Most Engaging Staff Member' and 'Most Uplifting Staff Member of the Year' in spring 2023. Nominated as 'Most Uplifting Staff Member of the Year' in spring 2020, 2021 and 2022. Thank you for nominating me!

Nominated in the Cardiff University Celebrating Excellence Awards for 'Exceptional Enhancement of the Student Learning Experience' June 2022.

I am on the Archif Menywod Cymru/Women's Archive Wales AMC-WAC Committee and on the Board of Directors of the  Cyfarthfa Foundation. I am a STEM Ambassador


Recent Scholarly and Outreach activity

'Dissenters, poets and radical translators. Undercover radicals in 1790s Wales', Organise! Organise! Organise!  Durham University & the History Parliament Conference, 20-21 July 2023

'Welsh Echoes of Richard Price', Recovering Richard Price Conference, Cardiff University 4-6 July 2023

8 May 2023: 'Lady Llanover and her (international) guests', Longtown History Society

19 January 2023: 'Thomas Evans (Tomos Glyn Cothi, 1764-1833): The Beauty of the Bilingual Mind', The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion Lecture, London.

'Translating the French Revolution to Wales: Thomas Paine in a Celtic Language', Entangled Histories of Revolution: Case Studies conference, University of Milano, Bicocca & Kings College London, Milano, 11-13 January 2023

14 December 2022: ‘Awkward Pioneer? Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi and the Welsh Tradition’, Women’s Archive Wales Lecture


Watch me talk about 'Yma o Hyd' the official song of the Welsh football team at the 2022 word cup: 

Contributor to the 8-episode BBC2 landmark television series: 'Art that Made Us'.

“Curious Kids: How is history written and who writes it?” The Conversation:

Next publications

‘Family Matters: War-Time Discourses on Women in Wales, 1793–1805’, in Beth Jenkins, Stephanie Ward, Paul O’Leary (eds), Rethinking Masculinity and Femininity in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Wales (Cardiff: UWP, in press) 

Löffler, Marion, ‘“Generation 1789”: Welsh Dissenters and radicals lost in translation, in Matthew Roberts (ed.), Memory and Modern British Politics: Commemoration, Tradition, Legacy (London: Bloomsbury, 2024), pp. 35–65 (in press)

Who is Marion Löffler and what are her research interests?

I am a Reader in Welsh History and 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 seven history documentaries for Welsh and German television and radio, and appear regularly on Radio Cymru and Sianel Pedwar Cymru, also consulting for the BBC on radio and television.















  • 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.










Book sections



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 which was partly fuelled by British and international trends and connections, and by an industrialisation that connected Wales with the remainder of Europe.

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? I consider lives as the shortest strands of history, microcosms shaping and shaped by larger historical events. As Assistant Editor of the Dictionary of Welsh Biography I try to improve the entries of women and men of all classes, creeds and colours. 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 complex identity of Wales and the Welsh as cultural nation 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 Victorian Learning

I currently supervise a PhD student enrolled at CAWCS Aberystwyth whose research explores Cyfieithiadau'r Gymraeg c.1789-1900 (Translations into Welsh c. 1789-1900), co-supervise two students in Cardiff, most notably a PhD on the politics of the film 'How Green was my Valley'.


Student evaluations on my option modules 2020-21:

'Teaching staff have gone above and beyond to ensure that the transfer to online learning has not affected our
learning. They have posted everything online in an organised fashion so that it has been easy to access all the require material for lectures and seminars. The Q&A sessions that have been provided have been of great value in enhancing our knowledge and understanding of certain aspects of the module, and they have been rather useful in helping me retain skills with regard to source analysis via their format. Staff have even utilised the unfortunate circumstances of this year for the benefit of us by posting lectures in advance so that everybody has an equal chance with regard to the upcoming essay.'

'My favourite module I really had great communication with my lecturer and seminar tutor, and the seminars were really helpful, the feedback was vital and really just enjoyable.'

Fields: Modern Welsh History; Wales and the French Revolution; Cultural History; Modern British History

I am a member of the teams teaching core modules Modern British History (Year 1), Approaches to History (Year 2), and supervise Year 2 and Year 3 dissertations.

I am the Convener of MA option module 'Reading Welsh History: Nation, Class and Gender', first offered 2021-2022

From the late eighteenth century, the forces of urbanisation, industrialisation, and globalisation transformed Welsh society and culture. Historians of Wales have approached the question of such structural change by exploring the impact upon Welsh language and culture, class politics and protest, the movement of people, and through gendered, racial and ethnic identities. This module takes a conceptual approach to examine how historians have shaped histories of modern Wales, and it provides students with the opportunity to advance the skills necessary for developing their own original contribution to Welsh history.

The module focus includes the nation and national histories, Welsh culture, gender history, class and politics, and social movements and agency. These themes will be explored from the late eighteenth to the late twentieth centuries, and, where appropriate, within a transnational context. You will engage with the latest cutting-edge research as well as classic Welsh history articles and monographs. Closely reading classic texts of the past century, which were as much expressions of international historiographical trends as they shaped Welsh history-writing, as well as the very latest scholarly writings, you will gain a deeper knowledge of modern Welsh history. You will also work closely with primary sources, drawing upon the wealth of local archival materials to practice vital historical skills.

My option modules are:

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

This module engages with the way in which key political, religious and economic developments and ideas connected the people of Wales with the remainder of the British Isles, Europe, and the British Empire. We will approach Welsh history as ‘entangled’, transnational and postcolonial, moving from the deeply rural to the metropolitan and the industrial, from Wales to England, Europe and the Empire. The ascendancy to the throne of the Hanoverian Protestant George I in 1714, which has shaped the history of Wales and Great Britain to this day, is our starting point. The Crimean War which ended a period of political rapprochement and cultural cooperation between Prussia and Britain, and the grand national Llangollen Eisteddfod of 1858, arguably a high point of Welsh Victorian culture, bookend our module.

Actors and subjects in our world will be Welshmen and -women in Wales, England and the Empire, as well as some Germans, Englishmen and Frenchmen, a zamindar from Bengal and a Polish prince. We will chart the tracks of Welsh gentlefolk and military heroes, of gardening girls and drovers, Dissenters and Methodists, diplomats, cultural patrons and missionaries, industrial spies, iron masters and ship owners, to assess their role in shaping Wales in international context.

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.


I took my undergraduate degree and wrote my doctoral dissertation at Humboldt University Berlin, gaining my PhD. 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), produced by the project 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 have published widely on the cultural history of Wales from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, focusing on knowledge exchanges by cultural adaptation, the development of political concepts like 'revolution' in the British Isles and their expressions in Welsh, and the ways in which international diplomats and scholars linked Wales with a wider scholarly community, but also with the British Empire. In this I am drawing 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.

My next project is a global history of Wales 1789-1871, which University of Wales Press would like me to write.

Honours and awards

July 2021-July 2022 'Research Wales Innovation' Civic Mission Grant awarded by Cardiff University Widening Participation and Engagement to develop and deliver a Welsh-language KS4 Masterclass and digital teaching aid on 'The Merthyr Tydfil Protests of 1800'

June-July 2021 Cardiff University CESI Summer Placements Grant 21 to supervise 3 paid students placements researching 'Alternatives to Formal Exams' to inform changing assessment practice

2020 Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol Grant to supervise the creation of  'Llyfryddiaeth Esboniadol a Chymorth Dysgu ac Addysgu (Digidol) o Ffynonellau Cynradd Cymraeg Printiedig y 18fed Ganrif yng Nhgasgliadau Arbennig Llyfrgell y Dyniaethau Prifysgol Caerdydd' (An Annotated Catalogue and Digital Teaching Help of Printed Primary Sources in the Welsh Language at Special Collections of Cardiff University Humanities Library) (postponed until end of pandemic)

Cardiff University CUROP Grant 33: 'Dowlais Iron Works Letters, 1852-1854: Crisis, Cholera and Negotiation'. Under my supervision, a substantial number of letters was transcribed and edited by Joint Honours BA History and English Literature student Eve Lewis and made available to the public (summer 2019)

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

Dictionary of Welsh Biography

Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

Women's Archive Wales Committee The Committee (

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 -  2022  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

19 January 2023: 'Thomas Evans (Tomos Glyn Cothi, 1764-1833): The Beauty of the Bilingual Mind', The Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion Lecture, London.

12 January 2023: 'Translating the French Revolution to Wales: Thomas Paine in a Celtic Language', Entangled Histories of Revolution: Case Studies conference, University of Milano, Bicocca & Kings College London, Milano.

14 December 2022: ‘Awkward Pioneer? Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi and the Welsh Tradition’, Women’s Archive Wales

'Cysyniadau, Ymylnodau a Thatw: Llawysgrifau Tomos Glyn Cothi (1766–1833)', Cynhadledd Llawysgrifau Cymru 800-1800 / Welsh Manuscripts Conference 800-1800, The National Library of Wales', 20-22 June 2022

‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ and ‘Land of My Fathers’: Subaltern Uses of a ‘National Chorus’, international conference on 'Wales and the World', University of Wales Trinity St Davids', Lampeter, 6-7 June 2022

‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ and ‘Land of My Fathers’: Subaltern Uses of a ‘National Chorus’, international conference on 'Wales and the World', University of Wales Trinity St Davids', Lampeter, 6-7 June 2022

'Busting Myths: Childhood, the DDR and the Fall of the Berlin Wall', Monmouth School for Boys, presentation for Sixth-form students, 7 March 2022

'Arloeswraig Anesmwyth: Hester Piozzi a'r Traddodiad Cymreig' [An Uneasy Pioneer: Hster Piozzi and the Welsh Tradition], Women's Archive Wales,15 February 2022

'Reverberations of 1848; Subaltern Western Peripheries', 'Modern Revolutions and the Idea of Europe', 12th Annual Conference of the Research Network on the History of the Idea of Europe, Athens 9–12 September 2021

'Prince Albert’s German Secretary and Librarian: Celticist, Enfant Terrible and German Nationalist', Annual Conference 
and Eighty-Fourth Meeting of the Association for German Studies in Great Britain and Ireland (AGS) Hosted online by Swansea University, 1-3 September 2021

Public Lecture: 'Yr Awdures Anghofiedig: Hester Piozzi a Gwleidyddiaeth y 1790au’ (A Forgotten Author: Hester Piozzi and the Politics of the 1790s), Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru 2021, 4 August 2021. Watch it here:

'Eisen, Schiefer, Eisenbahnen: Deutsch-walisische Wirtschaftsverbindungen im neunzehnten Jahrhundert', Cardiff-Stuttgart Association, 10 July 2021

'Menywod a'r naratifau amdanynt yng Nghymru Oes y Chwyldro Ffrengig (The Female in the Welsh Discourse of the long 1790s)', Coleg Cymraeg Genedlaethol History Conference, 17 March 2021:

“Curious Kids: How is history written and who writes it?”, The Conversation:

'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

Member of Board of Directors: The Cyfarthfa Foundation

Committee member: Women's Archive Wales

Member of History Panel Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol

Manuscript reviewer for University of Wales Press, Welsh Books Council, Bloomsbury Publishing, Boydell&Brewer, Welsh History Review, Llafur

Journal reviewer for Welsh History Review, The International Journal of Welsh Writing in English, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, Morgannwg

Assistant Editor Dictionary of Welsh Biography (2014-2022)


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 in its connection with adaptation and translation between cultures and languages

Connections between Wales and Germany

Wales as cultural nation and subaltern participant in Empire

Welsh biography

Celticism and Medievalism

Current supervision

Teleri Owen

Teleri Owen

Research student