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The Mabinogion (Penguin Classics) (edition 1976)

by Anonymous

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2,861312,023 (3.9)69
Member:Zefariath
Title:The Mabinogion (Penguin Classics)
Authors:Anonymous
Info:Penguin Classics (1976), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Mabinogion by Anonymous

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» See also 69 mentions

English (29)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
This is a set of tales translated from the original Welsh. They were collected together in the 1350s, although some of them probably have much older origins. They are from an oral tradition that was dying out, cultural changes meant that the old Welsh mode of living was being diminished. And you can see that within these stories, there are mounted knights and jousts - surely not a part of ancient Celtic life. There are some startling images, the sheep that change colour from black to white and back again as the cross the stream, the tree that is half burning flame and half in leaf, the colourful knights and messengers. It is captivating. It doesn't always, strictly, make sense. But there is something about them that captures the imagination. In the same vein as Beowulf, and again reflecting that transition from oral to written history, you could view this as being part of the touchstone of being Welsh. ( )
  Helenliz | Oct 30, 2014 |
Reviewing the edition translated by Jeffrey Gantz and published by Penguin Classics: I found this to be a surprisingly readable and entertaining rendition of these tales. I enjoyed the first four tales (the actual "Branches of the Mabinogi") the most, but several of the other tales (particularly "Owein" and "Gereint and Enid") were also good. Gantz's Introduction and short introductions to each tale are brief, but do help the average reader to understand a bit more about the background and context of the stories without getting bogged down in too much analysis. This is not a scholarly edition, but I think it is a decent introduction to the Mabinogion for the general reader who is not an expert in Welsh literature and who merely wants to appreciate these tales as stories. ( )
1 vote Heather39 | Sep 3, 2014 |
Fairly confusing Welsh mythology introducing ferries and other sprites among historical figures. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
I'm giving the Mabinogion five stars because it is so much itself. These old tales are not for everyone and the language comes down to us a bit stilted, but I love the repetition and pageantry. It's dreamlike: evil giants, strange beasts, knights so powerful they kill a thousand men in a day. I love phrases like "the loudest thing anyone ever heard" and "the hoary-haired man."

It's old-fashioned. It's put-downable. And there's nothing else like it.

Petrea Burchard
Camelot & Vine ( )
1 vote PetreaBurchard | Feb 9, 2014 |
The first four stories are really excellent, weird old stuff from pre-christian Wales that move quickly and are consistently entertaining and surprising. I found the Arthurian stories a little less interesting, though not terrible by any stretch. The Welsh taxonomy is just fantastic, and puzzling out the correct pronunciation of character and place names (with the help of the pronunciation guide) is a great game. Wales seems to get short shrift among Celt-crazy Americans, and it seems a bit unfair after reading this.

Also recommended if you enjoyed Lloyd Alexander in your youth, as he clearly drew heavily from this and similar sources. ( )
4 vote Brendan.H | Jul 21, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anonymousprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, GwynTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, ThomasTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davies, SionedTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freeman, JoanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gantz, JeffreyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gantz, JeffreyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guest, Lady CharlotteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loth, JosephTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norris, LeslieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, JeffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Brothers transformed into animals of both sexes who bring forth children; dead men thrown into a cauldron who rise the next day; a woman created out of flowers, transformed into an owl for infidelity; a king turned into a wild boar for his sins - these are just some of the magical stories that together make up the Mabinogi.
INTRODUCTION (to the Jones/Jones translation)
-----------------------------
The eleven prose tales upon which the title 'Mabinogion' has been at once happily and arbitrarily bestowed are among the finest flowerings of the Celtic genius and, taken together, a masterpiece of our medieval European literature.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Please do note combine  incomplete works, such as The Mabinogion (Phoenix 60p paperbacks), which contains only two tales.

There are two "Alan Lee" Mabinogions.
The original, which used the Everyman text, translated by Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones, was published by Dragon's Dream.
The second, which used Lady Charlotte Guest's translation, was published by Voyager/HarperCollins. See also LT entry for the Mabinogion by Lady Charlotte Guest.
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Book description
Based on mss. known as The White Book of Rhydderch (ca. 1350) and The Red Book of Hergest (ca. 1382 - 1410)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140443223, Paperback)

Drawing on myth, folklore and history, the stories of the "Mabinogion" passed from generations of storytellers before they were written down in the thirteenth century in the form we know. Set in dual realms of the forests and valleys of Wales and the shadowy otherworld, the tales are permeated by a dreamlike atmosphere. In "Math Son of Mathonwy" two brothers plot to carry off the virginal Goewin, while in "Manawydan Son of Llyr" a chieftain roams throughout Britain after a spell is cast over his land. And King Arthur's court provides the backdrop to tales such as "How Culhwch Won Olwen", in which a young man must complete many tasks before he can marry a giant's daughter.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:29 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

The 11 tales of the 'Mabinogion' combine Celtic mythology and Arthurian romance. This new translation recreates the storytelling world of medieval Wales and re-invests the tales with the power of performance.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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