The Mabinogion (Everyman's Library ; No. 97)

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9780460000970: The Mabinogion (Everyman's Library ; No. 97)
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The Mabinogion is a collection of prose stories from medieval Welsh manuscripts. They are partly based on early medieval historical events, but almost certainly hark back to older Iron Age traditions. Its name comes from a misunderstanding made by the Mabinogion's first English translator, Lady Charlotte Guest: she found at the end of the first tale the form mabynnogyon, a scribal error that was assumed to be the plural of the Welsh word mabinogi, which occurs correctly at the end of the remaining three of the Four Branches. The word mabinogi itself is something of a puzzle, although it is ultimately related to the Welsh mab, which means "son, boy". Professor Eric P. Hamp, however, suggests that mabinogi derives from the name of the Celtic deity Maponos ("the Divine Son"), and originally referred to materials pertaining to that god. Strictly speaking, "Mabinogi" applies only to the Four Branches (see below), which are speculated to have derived from older tradition. Each of these four tales ends with a colophon meaning "thus ends this branch of the Mabinogi" (in various spellings), hence the name.

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From the Publisher:

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From the Inside Flap:

Preface by John Updike
The 11 stories of "The Mabinogion, first assembled on paper in the fourteenth century, reach far back into the earlier oral traditions of Welsh poetry.
Closely linked to the Arthurian legends--King Arthur himself is a character--they summon up a world of mystery and magic that is still evoked by the Welsh landscape they so vividly describe. Mingling fantasy with tales of chivalry, these stories not only prefigure the later medieval romances, but stand on their own as magnificent evocations of a golden age of Celtic civilization.
This translation of "The Mabinogion has, since its first appearance in 1949, been recognized as a classic in its own right. It was last revised by Gwyn Jones and his wife, Mair, in 1993.

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