A very accessable guide that 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.
A wide-ranging and enthralling introduction to Celtic mythology, from the Irish gods before gods, the Fomorians, to the children of Llyr, the sea deity; from the hunter-warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill, whose exploits are chronicled in the Fenian Cycle, to Cú Chulainn, the Hound of Ulster; and from the Welsh heroes of the Mabinogion to Arthur, King of Britain, though the mythical, Welsh version who predates the medieval legends.
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Nothing to see here
This author has obvious and limiting academic prejudices which interfere completely with the subject matter. I could not care less about whether or not group X can be definitely included or excluded under the umbrella of 'Celts". I am here for the stories - which are not here to be had. I did NOT punish myself by enduring the entire book - after suffering through chapter 1, I skipped and sampled, and never hit upon an actual story, just derisive commentary how that story was not representative of the beliefs of yaddah yaddah - useless if one does not know the details of the story in question. Since those details are what I was hoping for in the first place - this book and this author serve no purpose for me.
A better studied and chosen book of Celtic myth. I still want to know the stories, but have had enough academic smug superiority, thank you.
His voice is soothing...and when presenting dry, academic material, completely passionless and boring. He is bored, I am bored.
If this book were a manufacturer's cents-off coupon, I would redeem it for just about anything else. However, I am beginning to think that keeping it as a buffer against insomnia might be the silver lining in this cloud. If I cannot return it, I will play it at night and let it bore me off to dreamland.
This book is meant for the political/philosophical/academic Celt among us. Not the story telling, fairy tale seeking, curious myth fan.