Set in a primal past, the Mabinogi bridges many genres; it is part pre-Christian myth, part fairytale, part guide to how nobles should act, and part dramatization of political and social issues. This edition of what has become a canonical text provides a highly engaging new translation of the work, an informative introduction, and a set of background contextual materials that help place the Mabinogi in the context of medieval Welsh history and culture.
“A lively and often whimsical rendering of a medieval Welsh quartet of tales that are of supreme importance to our understanding of Celtic storytelling tradition.… It will lead a new generation of readers into the profound, often baffling world of ‘Mabinogic’ mystery, myth, and magic.” — Joseph Falaky Nagy, Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Irish Studies at Harvard University
“This is a fine, fun new translation—brisk, colloquial and dramatic, it captures much of the immediacy and color of the original…. The style is very succinct and colorful, much akin to folktales, where the characters enjoy some sort of essential or representative significance, even as they also emerge as individual personalities…. The laws, triads and other contextual materials translated in the appendices are very valuable and relevant for the interpretation of these texts; their inclusion is much appreciated. I also like the fact that The Four Branches of the Mabinogi are given their own separate volume, rather than being tumbled in with the other Middle Welsh prose texts.” —Craig R. Davis, Smith College