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A Brief Guide to Celtic Myths and Legends (Brief Histories) Paperback – 3 Oct 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (3 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1780338929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780338927
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 772,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A wide-ranging and enthralling introduction to Celtic mythology.

From the Back Cover

An insightful and accessible guide that breathes fresh life into the enduringly popular Celtic myths and legends

In this wide-ranging and very readable introduction to the myths and legends of the Celts - a world of giants, tumultuous storms, magic cauldrons, fierce warriors and severed heads that talk - Whittock draws extensively on up-to-date archaeological evidence, Greek and Roman inscriptions and medieval Irish and Welsh manuscripts. He also examines the later Breton literature - and, where written evidence is scarce, enduring oral traditions.

His interpretation is both thrilling and authentic of such characters as the Irish gods before gods, the Fomorians; the children of Lír, the sea deity; the hunter-warrior Finn mac Cumhaill, whose exploits are chronicled in the Fenian Cycle; Cú Chulainn, the Hound of Ulster; the Welsh heroes of the Mabinogion; and the mythical, Welsh Arthur, who predates the medieval legends. In addition to examining the myths of the Irish and the Welsh, this account also explores the related mythologies of Scotland, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Gwydion on 26 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best part of the book for me was the Introduction where Mr Whittock clarifies the situation regarding the Celts, their origins, traditions and modern survival. This will distress some people who hang onto what are in fact 19th century ideas and translate them into pseudo-political/cultural views - especially, it would seem in America, whose propensity for believing all kinds of things seems to know no bounds. (That's a bit cruel, sorry!)
The bulk of the book is what it says: 'A Brief guide...' and it certainly gives a comprehensive synopsis of all the extant myths and legends from the s0-called Celtic lands inc. the lesser known Manx & Breton. It would have been better if there were a little more space to look into the origins of the myths eg. John Koch's Manawyddan: a Welsh window on the Iron Age (1987), but as it is, it's excellent.
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