Huw Meirion Edwards, 'The Literary Context'
Had Dafydd ap Gwilym been born only a few decades earlier his poetry would have been very different. He was born within a generation of the defeat of the last of the independent Welsh princes, which put an end to the main source of patronage of the bardic order as defined in the Laws of Hywel Dda. From then on the poets’ main patrons would be the landed gentry rather than the old royal dynasties of Wales. Despite such a traumatic setback they managed to adapt to the new political landscape. This essay elucidates the literary background and social circumstances of Dafydd ap Gwilym’s poetry.