The Chronicles of the Celts: New Tellings of Their Myths and Legends

ISBN 10: 0786706066 / ISBN 13: 9780786706068
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Synopsis: The stirring sagas of gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, enchanted weapons and fantastic beasts from all six Celtic cultures -- Irish, Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Manx, and Breton -- are retold from ancient times in a major new collection for a modern readership.

From Publishers Weekly: Compiling and retelling myths and legends from the six Celtic culturesAIrish, Manx, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish and BretonAis a task well suited to novelist and noted Celtic scholar Ellis (A Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, etc.). Although, as Ellis explains, the Celts inhabited Britain long before the arrival of Christianity or the Anglo-Saxons, many tales came to incorporate Christian and Saxon themes: in one story here, Mac Cuil, a Celtic deity, converts to Christianity and becomes a saint. We owe to Celtic folklore the beginnings of both the classic love story of Tristan and Iseult, which is a "traditional Celtic elopement tale" (probably Cornish), and the legends of King Arthur, who was a "historical Celtic personality fighting for the independence of his people against the ravages of the Anglo-Saxons" (and who shows up mainly in the Welsh section here). Other stories tell of Lugh of the Long Hand, a preeminent Celtic god who was later demoted to a fairy craftsman called Lugh-Chromain, and finally relegated to the lowly leprechaun. The somewhat dry introduction and section prefaces examine several points of interestAfor example, the notable similarities between Celtic and Vedic mythology. The casual reader will be best entertained by diving into the legends themselves, which are colored with plenty of swordplay, hero quests, shape-shiftings and druidic sorcery. Line drawings, an index and an extensive list of further reading round out this vivid collection. BOMC and History Book Club selections. (Apr.) FYI: Ellis, under the pen name Peter Tremayne, is the author of the Sister Fidelma mystery series, set in seventh-century Ireland.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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