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The Mabinogion (Oxford World's Classics) Hardcover – 1 Mar 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (1 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192832425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192832429
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 3 x 13.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 119,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Davies's prose is stark and fierce, the laconic dialogue spine-tingling, and she makes the page sing. (Marina Warner, The Independent)

An accurate and very lively version of the tales: it sounds modern and reads well. (Gwyn Thomas, Cambria Magazine)

This fresh, energetic translation is a revelation and, for the first time, shows off The Mabinogion tales as what they were originally: splendid entertainment. (The Guardian Review)

The Mabinogion is famously magical. Enchantment glows on every page, but it does not here violate the laws of nature: it reveals them. (Murrough O'Brien, The Independent on Sunday)

An illuminating and relaxed translation...The Mabinogion are the cornerstone of medieval Welsh literature. They are gloriously inventive, highly dramatic, sometimes ferocious, sometimes lyrical, often witty, and ultimately profound in their understanding and revelation of human nature. In my estimate, Sioned Davies has done them and her modern readers proud. (Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Times (Books))

Davies's translation surpasses all its predecessors in accuracy and readability... [her] scholarly introduction is greatly superior to that of previous translators and can be recommended unreservedly. (Patrick Sims-Williams, TLS)

It may be said at once that the translation will have instant success. It will bring the tales to thousands of new readers, while its commentary will be a vital tool for scholars....By fuelling debate on this and other questions, Sioned Davies's splendid volume inaugurates a new age of Mabinogion studies. (Modern Language Review)

...a frsh translation which clears away archaisms and preconceptions to privilege the clear voice of story...[and] which is linguistically rigorous yet ever awake to the requirements of both text and reader. (Institute of Translation and Interpreting)

About the Author

Sioned Davies is Chair of Welsh at Cardiff University. Her special interest is the interplay between orality and literacy, together with the performance aspects of medieval Welsh narrative. Her publications include Crefft y Cyfarwydd (Cardiff, 1995), which is a study of narrative techniques in the Mabinogion, The Four Branches of the Mabinogi (Llandysul, 1993), and a co-edited volume, The Horse in Celtic Culture: Medieval Welsh Perspectives (Cardiff, 1997).

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Pwyll, prince of Dyfed, was lord over the seven cantrefs of Dyfed.*  Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Greywolf TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a new English translation of that classic collection of Welsh myths and legends known (erroneously) as The Mabinogion, consisting of eleven stories featuring King Arthur and his knights, magic, shape-shifting, giants, talking animals, wily gods and powerful goddesses. These tales are probably most familiar to English readers through the first English translation made by Lady Charlotte Guest in the 1840s, reprinted many times since and available for free download from several websites. The Guest version benefits from a high Victorian, King James Bible style of writing, replete with thees and thous. Personally, I'm a sucker for all that. Unfortunately, as a good Victorian gentlewoman, Lady Charlotte edited out what she regarded as the naughty bits of the stories. For this reason alone, this new translation is to be welcomed. Being made by a much better-informed scholar of the Welsh language, this edition is also much more accurate than its predecessor. Not only that but the translator, Sioned Davies, has a strong interest in the oral storytelling tradition in which the tales were originally formulated and has, therefore, produced a text eminently suited to being read or spoken aloud for an audience. The language is clear and the tales come across as fresh and entertaining, capable of being read for enjoyment rather than purely for historical interest. Hooray for that, as they are very fine stories, representing one of the oldest storytelling traditions in Europe. Hopefully this excellent translation will bring them before a wider audience.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By ruthie_uk2001 on 10 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This edition of The Mabinogion is truly an excellent translation; not only that, but there is helpful introductory material for anyone studying the text, or those who wish to learn more about the mythology and stories behind it. The Four Branches of the Mabinogi and the other stories are themselves fast paced and a very rewarding read, I cannot recommend this book heartily enough. The hardcover edition is also very pleasing to the eye, a well-conceived publication through and through.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Kelton on 15 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Where can I begin? The newest translation of the Mabinogion, those famous medieval Welsh stories is more than expected. Sioned Davies, chair of Welsh at Cardiff University certainly is within her element in bringing these stories into English. Her prose is poetic and crisp, and a delight to read. Her endnotes are informative and the pronunciation guide one of the clearest I've ever come into contact with. And that's just the translation itself! The stories are, of course, classics of literature the equal of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, or even (in my not-so humble opinion) Shakespeare. If you choose to purchase a translation of the Mabinogion, you can't do much better than the sublimity of Sioned Davies'.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 30 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an excellent, highly readable translation. However, the Kindle edition is very poor; the formatting looks like the book was simply scanned and there are no links for the notes. Surely OUP can do better than this?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevamazon on 27 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A superb work of translation and writing. Enough background information to satisfy the most curious and all done in a flowing, easy to read style. This version is intended to reflect the original way of passing on the tales, when it was a spoken work relayed by story-tellers.. A lovely version of these traditional Welsh tales and legends, Highly recommended for both students of history and casual readers alike.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By witchygirl on 4 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The translation of the Welsh is easy to read and the age old stories are brought to life. I would recommed this book to both Pagan and none Pagans who are interested in the old tales. There is no need to read the sories one after the other like a novel. Each one can be read and thought over. The lengthy introduction is a must as it gives a greater depth to the stories. Far better than I imagined.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Simon Hodges on 4 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Mabinogion is a rare collection of stories from Welsh medieval literature. It shows us our roots as a culture through its curious and intriguing symbolism, as well as its simplicity. It is so easy to read but its full meaning will take an age to absorb.

Anyone looking to deepen into true culture should read it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Have enjoyed reading this book so much I'm using it as my prime text for my disseration. Can't believe more people haven't read it, and even more shocked at how few people have heard of it! Superb book and amazing stories within. Sioned Davies translation is perfect, and her introduction and footnotes are really useful too. The chapter on Welsh pronounciation is especially beneficial! Really glad that's included. Definitely buy, especially if you're a fairy tale love!! It's fantastic. Could not rate high enough.
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