In the Winter 2020 edition of City Journal, our favorite doctor takes a trip to Wales, buys the inevitable book, and recounts for us a brutal murder that took place over two decades ago.
Welsh Christianity was often narrow-minded, bigoted, censorious, and hypocritical. There is an extensive and extremely interesting literature on this subject, which obsessed Welsh writers for much of the twentieth century. But for all its unattractive qualities—I would have chafed under its domination—it provided a moral framework (or perhaps straitjacket would be a better way to put it) in which life was to be lived, and that gave a distinctive—and, in some ways, charming—character to Welsh life. It was also extremely earnest about educational effort. When it collapsed, the coarsest hedonism replaced it, which the Clydach murder case illustrates graphically.