Myths and Legends of the British Isles
Title Details

604 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

Imprint: Boydell Press

Myths and Legends of the British Isles

by Richard Barber

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Tales from the dawn of Christianity to the age of the Plantagenets reveal a mythology in its time as potent as that of the classical world.
The British Isles have a long tradition of tales of gods, heroes and marvels, hinting at a mythology once as relevant to the races which settled the islands as the Greek and Roman gods were to the classical world. The tales drawntogether in this book, from a wide range of medieval sources, span the centuries from the dawn of Christianity to the age of the Plantagenets. The Norse gods which peopled the Anglo-Saxon past survive in Beowulf; Cuchulainn, Taliesin and the magician Merlin take shape from Celtic mythology; and saints include Helena who brought a piece of the True Cross to Britain, and Joseph of Arimathea whose staff grew into the Glastonbury thorn. Tales of the British Arthur are followed by legends of later heroes, including Harold, Hereward and Godiva. These figures and many others were part of a familiar national mythology on which Shakespeare drew for Lear, Macbeth and Hamlet, creating the famous versions that are known today. Here the original stories are presented.

RICHARD BARBER's other books include and The Knight and Chivalry.

RICHARD BARBER has had a huge influence on the study of medieval history and literature, as both a writer and a publisher. His first book on the Arthurian legend appeared in 1961, and his major works include The Knight and Chivalry (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award in 1971), Edward Prince of Wales and Aquitaine, The Penguin Guide to Medieval Europe and The Holy Grail: the History of a Legend which was widely praised and was translated into six languages.

"Outstanding value, with its authoritative translations of Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and medieval key texts." PENDRAGON

Paperback

9781843830399

June 2004

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Ebook (EPDF)

9780585165042

October 1999

$24.99 / £19.99

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Title Details

604 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

Imprint: Boydell Press