A Century of Welsh Myth in Children's Literature by Donna R. White

By Donna R. White

Myth, legend, and folklore were entrenched in kid's literature for a number of centuries and stay well known. essentially the most historic conventional stories nonetheless extant come from the Celtic cultures of France and the British Isles, whose languages are one of the oldest in Europe. between those stories are 4 local Welsh legends jointly referred to as the Mabinogi, that have been first translated into English in 1845 through woman Charlotte visitor. quite a few kid's books were in accordance with the Mabinogi when you consider that then, and plenty of have got awards and significant acclaim. simply because those books are written for kids, they aren't unavoidably devoted retellings of the unique stories. as a substitute, authors have needed to opt for sure components to incorporate and others to exclude. This booklet examines how authors of kid's myth literature from the nineteenth century to the current have tailored Welsh delusion to fulfill the perceived wishes in their younger audience.

The quantity starts with a precis of the 4 precept stories of the Mabinogi: Pwyll Prince of Dyfed, Branwen Daughter of Llyr, Manawydan Son of Llyr, and Math Son of Mathonwy. Books in accordance with the Mabinogi quite often fall into different types: retellings of the myths, and unique works of fable partly encouraged through the Welsh stories. starting with Sidney Lanier's The Boy's Mabinogion, the 1st a part of this ebook examines types of the myths released for kids among 1881 and 1988. the second one half discusses creative literature that borrows components from the Mabinogi, together with Alan Garner's The Owl Service, which received a Carnegie medal, and Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, the ultimate quantity of which got the ALA Newbery Award for impressive kid's book.

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Extra info for A Century of Welsh Myth in Children's Literature (Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction & Fantasy)

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Apparently Guest was not comfortable with such bluntness; her translation reads, "And that evening passed they in each other's company" (3: 241). Lanier avoids the subject altogether, unwilling even to allow Blodeuwedd and Gronw Bebyr to fall in love with each other. He contents himself with an editorial insertion: "Now Blodeuwedd, in spite of her descent from the flowers, was at heart a wicked woman, and so she began to plot with Gronw Pebyr [sic] how they might slay the valiant Lieu Llaw Gyffes, and enjoy his possessions" (214).

In 1987 Haydn Middleton produced two books based on the Mabinogi. Although both appeared to be picture books for children, one was actually an adult rendition of the Four Branches, built around Middleton's reconstruction of an ancient Celtic religion. Entitled Son of Two Worlds, the book tells the story of Pwyll and Pryderi in their symbolic role as king. It is a discomforting, disturbing book that hovers on the borders of the horror genre and soft pornography. The other book, Island of the Mighty, not to be confused with Padraic Colum's book of the same title, is a volume in the Oxford Myth and Legends series and is more conventional in its approach to the tales.

Her work had done the inestimable service of making the Mabinogion accessible to English readers for the first time, and despite the spurious scholarly attacks that dogged her three-volume translation from its initial publication, it popularized the Welsh tales so successfully that numerous reprints and editions were published. There were three different editions of her work in 1902 alone, so it was readily available to series editors and compilers of anthologies. Most of the above titles were cheap series books.

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