Friday 21 December 2018

Book Review: The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends by Peter Berresford Ellis (Folklore & Myth)

Title: The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends
Author: Peter Berresford Ellis
Running Press

Publication Date: 2003 (1998)
Folklore & Myth
Birthday Gift

This is an enchantingly told collection of the stirring sagas of gods and goddesses, fabulous beasts, strange creatures, and such heroes as Cuchulain, Fingal, and King Arthur from the ancient Celtic world. Included are popular myths and legends from all six Celtic cultures of Western Europe-Irish, Scots, Manx, Welsh, Cornish, and Breton. Here for the modern reader are the rediscovered tales of cattle raids, tribal invasions, druids, duels, and doomed love that have been incorporated into, and sometimes distorted by, European mythology and even Christian figures.

The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends is a wonderful, varied collection. I particularly appreciate how it includes works from all Celtic cultures, as so many books I see tend to focus on Ireland, Wales and Scotland. The choice of stories is good, with plenty of diversity to hold interest, and all in all it was an enjoyable read. The nature of the book also means you don't have to sit and read through the whole things at once. You can dip in and out, reading a different tale each day. There is also a good selection of further reading recommendations in the back matter.

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