The Life and Work of William Salesbury
James Pierce Other books by James Pierce
William Salesbury was Deputy Attorney General for Wales from 1532. His abiding passion was language and he succeeded in steering the first Welsh dictionary and the first translation of the New Testament into Welsh through the political perils of the reigns of four Tudor monarchs.
He introduced his country to the printed word, to Renaissance and Humanist learning, and his lifetime's work was arguably responsible for saving the Welsh language from extinction.
Salesbury was a determined and politically astute man, yet his posthumous reputation has been blighted by academic controversy.
This book seeks to illustrate his major contribution to language and linguistics and to re-instate him as one of Wales' most influential scholars.
"Pierce writes passionately and colourfully and provides a wealth of background to the political intrigues and plotting of the period. In so doing, his book goes a long way to reviving the reputation of a man blighted by some early 20th-century Welsh academics." - Gwyn Griffiths, Morning Star
"James Pierce has given us a full, balanced biography of one of the most prominent figures in the history of the Welsh language, and a central figure in the history of Wales from the time of Henry VIII until Elizabeth I. Detailed attention is given to the translation work, and to the administrative work which arose in connection with it. Salesbury is one of the foremost representatives of Renaissance humanism in Wales, and hardly anyone has given greater service to the Welsh nation." - J. Graham Jones, Gwales
"I thoroughly enjoyed this much-needed contribution." - Professor David Crystal