Early Welsh Saga Poetry

Early Welsh Saga Poetry

A Study and Edition of the Englynion

Edited by Jenny Rowland

Hardback
$165.00

D.S.Brewer

Overview

Overview

The early Welsh Saga Englynion are lyric poems in character, long presumed to be the poetic remains of lost stories, told in a mixture of prose and verse. Three main cycles survive, centred on the figures of Llywarch Hen, who loses all his sons in his vicarious quest for glory; Unrien Rheged, a king unwillingly betrayed by his follower and kinsman; and Heledd, the sole survivor of an English invasion of her country. There are also many non-cyclical poems of the same type with other narrator figures such as the leper of Abercuawg. The best poems display considerable artistry and emotional intensity.
The critical discussion of the saga Englynion seeks to restore the lost narrative background by careful reading of internal indications and by comparative study. The growth, nature and artistry of each cycle is fully explored, as well as how each relates to the larger corpus. Relevant early Welsh traditions and history are also cited.
This is the first full edition of the saga Englynion since Sir Ifor Williams's Canu Llywarch Hen, and uses two additional manuscript copies. Full translations make the work accessible to a wider audience.

Details

April 1990
698 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9780859912754
Format: Hardback
D.S.Brewer
BIC DSBB
BISAC LCO003000
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Reviews

`-the scholarship and wealth of detailed information that has gone into this work is truly staggering. Rowland deserves the gratitude of celticists for her achievement.<>.<>. Research libraries will find it essential.' CHOICE May 91
A reworking the (her) thesis, already renowned in the fields of Welsh and Celtic studies...and regarded as indispensable for any advanced research on the Welsh sagas and related early poetry... Rowlands' discussion ably and thoroughly canvasses issues of theme and genre, metrics, linguistic archaisms and innovations, authorship, and the controversial problem of the nonextant narrative and historical contexts of the poem. She also illuminatingly brings to bear extensive comparanda from the other leading pre-Norman insular literary languages... Offers a thoughtful reassessment of Williams's theories in the light of the developments of the subsequent half-century. SPECULUM
With the publication of this impressive edition and study, JR leaps into the very first rank of twentieth-century Celtic scholars. CMCS