Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (MA)

Degree Level





Joshua Smith

Committee Member

William Quinn

Second Committee Member

Kelly Devries


Brut y Brenhinedd, Cotton Cleopatra, Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain, Medieval, Wales


"Welsh Manipulations of the Matter of Britain" examines the textual relationships between Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britanniae and the Welsh Brut y Brenhinedd in the Cotton Cleopatra manuscript. This thesis initially provides an overview of the existing scholarship surrounding the Welsh translations of Geoffrey's Historia with a specific focus on the Cotton Cleopatra Brut. The textual examination of the two histories begins with an extended commentary on the general textual variations between the two texts before concentrating on the specific changes that were made in the Cotton Cleopatra to reflect the adapter's pro-Welsh nationalistic and political biases. The general alterations allow the Cotton Cleopatra adapter to express his Welsh sympathies rather subtlety but these biases become more readily apparent with the examination of the changes made to the narratives of the early Trojans, the martial prowess of the Trojans and their British descendants, and the decline and eventual subjugation of Britain. The political contexts of the separate texts are also examined in terms of how the separate narratives were shaped by contemporary events. Ultimately, this thesis shows how the Cotton Cleopatra Brut is essentially a propaganda piece was modified by its translator to reflect and inflame the pro-Welsh nationalistic sentiments that developed shortly after the Edwardian conquest of Wales.