Humphrey Llwyd's Breviary of Britain (1573) is both the first Tudor description of Britain and a passionate and learned defence of Welsh historical traditions. Featuring the first reference in English to the 'British Empire', Thomas Twyne's translation would influence Elizabethan writers from Michael Drayton to John Dee. The volume also includes relevant illustrative selections of David Powel's History of Cambria (1584). Based on Llwyd's own translation of the medieval Welsh chronicle, Brut y Tywysogyon, Powel's History was an important source for Spenser's Faerie Queene and Drayton's Poly-Olbion, and remained the standard history of medieval Wales until the nineteenth century.
Philip Schwyzer is Associate Professor of Renaissance Literature in the Department of English, University of Exeter. He has published extensively on Anglo-Welsh literary relations and visions of British antiquity in the early modern period. His books include Literature, Nationalism and Memory in Early Modern England and Wales (2004), Archaeologies of English Renaissance Literature (2007); he is co-editor with Willy Maley of Shakespeare and Wales: From the Marches to the Assembly (2010).