By Donna R. White

Myth, legend, and folklore were entrenched in kid's literature for numerous centuries and stay well known. essentially the most old conventional stories nonetheless extant come from the Celtic cultures of France and the British Isles, whose languages are one of the oldest in Europe. between those stories are 4 local Welsh legends jointly often called the Mabinogi, which have been first translated into English in 1845 via woman Charlotte visitor. a number of kid's books were in accordance with the Mabinogi on the grounds that then, and plenty of have acquired awards and important acclaim. simply because those books are written for kids, they aren't inevitably trustworthy retellings of the unique stories. in its place, authors have needed to decide on definite components to incorporate and others to exclude. This booklet examines how authors of kid's myth literature from the nineteenth century to the current have tailored Welsh fantasy to satisfy the perceived wishes in their younger audience.

The quantity starts with a precis of the 4 precept stories of the Mabinogi: Pwyll Prince of Dyfed, Branwen Daughter of Llyr, Manawydan Son of Llyr, and Math Son of Mathonwy. Books in keeping with the Mabinogi usually fall into different types: retellings of the myths, and unique works of fable in part encouraged through the Welsh stories. starting with Sidney Lanier's The Boy's Mabinogion, the 1st a part of this booklet examines types of the myths released for kids among 1881 and 1988. the second one half discusses resourceful literature that borrows parts from the Mabinogi, together with Alan Garner's The Owl Service, which gained a Carnegie medal, and Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, the ultimate quantity of which got the ALA Newbery Award for awesome kid's book.

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Extra resources for A Century of Welsh Myth in Children's Literature

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There is no mention of brains and bones. Colum also lightens Branwen's punishment; instead of being reduced to a scullery maid who is beaten regularly by the cook, she is merely forced to be the cook. On the other hand, Colum retains the mutilation of the horses as he found it in Guest's translation. This mutilation was an unspeakable outrage to the Irish, who value their horses above all else, and Colum was an Irishman. Colum makes several interesting emendations. In a footnote he defines Annwn as "the Realm of Faerie" (13), rather than as the Welsh Land of the Dead.

Gwyn Jones certainly simplifies the name "Bendigeidfran" to "Bran"; on the other hand, Lieu Llaw Gyffes and Blodeuwedd retain all their proper syllables, perhaps because both names have an onomastic purpose in the story. Jones begins his children's version in the middle of the First Branch, omitting Pwyll's encounter with Arawn and subsequent sojourn in Annwn. Arawn is replaced by an old man with two deerhounds (white with red ears—the traditional Celtic hellhounds). The old man tells Pwyll about the magical properties of the hill known as Gorsedd Arberth, then he and his dogs vanish.

And as Pwyll points out to his nobles in Guest's account, "But children has she now had, therefore will I not put her away, if she has done wrong, let her do penance for it" (3: 62). Birth in general seems to be a forbidden subject. Lanier excises all references he possibly can—in fact, a number that are vital to the plots of the Four Branches—so that children, colts, and other newborn creatures appear in the stories as if by spontaneous generation, often without any acknowledged parentage. In the First Branch, Teyrnon's horse is allowed to retain her fame as a brood mare, but she is not permitted to give birth on the printed page.

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