Author(s) Miranda Aldhouse-Green
- October 2023 · 168 pages ·216x135mm
- · Hardback - 9781915279187
- · eBook - epub - 9781915279200
- · eBook - pdf - 9781915279217
The magical world of Welsh mythology deserves to be better known outside its homeland, with its cast of heroes and tricksters, animals that can talk and change shape, and magicians and witches who can bring disaster or triumph to the people in their paths.
Enchanted Wales is an invitation to voyage through the key stories of Welsh mythic literature, exploring not just their medieval texts but also their ancient roots, which can be glimpsed in sculptures, carvings and other artefacts from at least a thousand years earlier. These stories are more than epic entertainments: they allow us to explore our deepest questions about life and death, war and peace, and good and evil, secure in the knowledge that a skilful storyteller will guide us safely to the end of the tale.
On this journey, you will encounter severed heads that speak, birds that can tell the future, cauldrons with magical properties, quests that are as intricate and exciting as the Labours of Hercules, and ghostly underworlds where strange and frightening things happen to the humans who visit them. Enter these pages, and prepare to discover a weird, wonderful and Narnia-like world of dreams – the world of enchanted Wales.
‘The Welsh mythical tales, first written down by clerics in the Middle Ages, preserve vivid narratives told and retold by travelling storytellers over many centuries before. In this delightful book, the author explains the cultural and social background from which the stories come, going back to the Roman period and the Iron Age. Everything is here, severed heads, boar cults, magic cauldrons and shape-shifting. This is a fascinating, scholarly analysis made accessible to all.’
- Barry Cunliffe
Foretaste: Myths and Mythmakers
Chapter 1: Opening the Door on the Welsh Myths
Chapter 2: Gods and Heroes
Chapter 3: Fabulous Beasts and Shape-Shifters
Chapter 4: Otherworlds and Immortality
Chapter 5: Capricious Cauldrons and Burnished Bowls
Chapter 6: Goddesses, Witches and Shamed Women
Chapter 7: Magic Numbers and Mythic Colours
Chapter 8: Love, Marriage and Sacral Kingship
Afterglow: Mythscapes and Deep Roots