One of the most interesting and complicated characters in Welsh literary history. Iolo Morganwg (the bardic name of Edward Williams) was a infamous Welsh antiquarian whose passionate devotion to the Druidic tradition and the stories of the ancient Welsh bards helped elevate medieval Welsh literature to cult status in the early 19th century.
Founder of the Gorsedd ceremony at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, translator of many of old Welsh texts and a writer and poet in his own right, Iolo’s literary heritage should have been assured until it was revealed after his death that many of the “ancient” works he discovered and translated were fake – elaborate literary forgeries.
Was he a fraud or just a flamboyant storyteller in the rich tradition of the Bards? Today, Iolo still divides opinion.