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A Brief Guide to Celtic Myths and Legends by…

A Brief Guide to Celtic Myths and Legends

by Martyn Whittock

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A very interesting introduction to the subject, though I felt this 'brief guide' could have been briefer in places. At times I became confused with the many names and characters discussed, though this was in part due to my listening to the book in audiobook form, which made it difficult to go back and refresh my memory. I would have liked a little more discussion about the ways the mythologies and legends discussed were transmitted orally before being written down, but I appreciated that the author pointed out the writers' probable religious and political motivations for how they presented these stories, without completely dismissing the insights into past mythologies that their works provided. I liked the way the mythologies of the different Celtic nations were dealt with separately, and found the discussion of how probable deities were demoted to figures of folklore fascinating. The discussion of how Arthur's character evolved and was manipulated by various writers was particularly interesting. Well worth a read, and one that I will probably re-visit. ( )
1 vote Amy7 | Jun 9, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0762448075, Paperback)

Whittock provides a wide-ranging and enthralling introduction to Celtic mythology, from the Irish Fomorians all the way to Arthur, King of Britain. It is a very readable overview that also discusses the current state of research regarding the origins and significance of the myths.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:42 -0400)

A very readable guide which fills the gap between academic analysis and less critical retellings of the myths and legends. Marytn Whittock provides an accessible overview while also assessing the current state of research regarding the origins and significance of the myths. Since all records of the myths first occur in the early medieval period, the focus is on the survival of pre-Christian mythology and the interactions of the early Christian writers with these myths.… (more)

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