The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends by Peter Berresford Ellis

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of celtic myths and legends book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends
Author: Peter Berresford Ellis
Series: Mammoth Books
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: CelticHistory, Mythology, Non-fiction
Dates read: 25th October 2018 – 22nd September 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Non-fictional text
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Where are the gods and their goddesses, where the heroes and noble knights?

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Synopsis

STIRRING SAGAS FROM THE ANCIENT CELTIC WORLD

From an oral history and storytelling culture dating back to the dawn of European civilization, the Celtic peoples have developed one of the world’s most vibrant mythologies. In this collection from Irish, Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Manx and Breton sources, Peter Berresford Ellis has brought together the classic myths and legends, as well as exciting new tales which have never been published.

Berresford Ellis, a foremost authority on the Celts, brings not only his expertise but also his acclaimed skills of storytelling to this original and enthralling selection of gods and goddesses, magical weapons and fabulous beasts.

Thoughts

This is a bit of a hard slog of a book. Not in any negative sense, but in the sense that it is over 500 pages of Celtic mythology. Which encompasses all of the wonders of their convoluted names and intricate kinship ties. It doesn’t really matter which tale you read, this is something that can be a little bit difficult to work with. Especially, when like me, you know nothing about the names and communications of people from this part of the world.

I’ve long been fascinated by Celtic folklore. And I have dabbled a little bit in this world. However, The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths & Legends was a GREAT way to immerse myself in this otherwise unknown world. Now, when I read stories which have obviously used a thread of this tradition and folklore, I can recognise it, and even understand it a little more.

Each section of this book starts with an introduction which highlights the region which the myths come from and where these retellings are sourced from. As many of the folklore of the time was orally passed, it was interesting to see where this had been pulled from – opening up a new world but also helping to tie it to the past and the roots of the tale.

If you have any kind of interest in mythology. Pick this book up. Maybe do like I did, and read a few stories before turning to something that doesn’t have so many incredibly similar names. But still pick this book up. It is phenomenal, potent and completely impossible to put down. One that I would highly recommend to all fans of the past, supernatural and myths.

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Book Review

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