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A Celtic Miscellany: Selected and Translated by Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson (Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Kenneth Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Including works from Welsh, Irish and Scottish Gaelic, Cornish, Breton and Manx, this Celtic Miscellany offers a rich blend of poetry and prose from the eighth to the nineteenth century, and provides a unique insight into the minds and literature of the Celtic people. It is a literature dominated by a deep sense of wonder, wild inventiveness and a profound sense of the uncanny, in which the natural world and the power of the individual spirit are celebrated with astonishing imaginative force. Skifully arranged by theme, from the hero-tales of Cu Chulainn, Bardic poetry and elegies, to the sensitive and intimate writings of early Celtic Christianity, this anthology provides a fascinating insight into a deeply creative literary tradition.

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)

Product Details

  • File Size: 572 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0140442472
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Ed edition (April 27, 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,142,758 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a wonderful collection February 21, 2004
This is a terrific and pretty comprehensive collection of Celtic poetry and prose. Everything is nicely indexed according to what style of writing it is, and what the subject is, in the table of contents. Under each poem or whathaveyou is a description of where the work comes from, when it dates from, and who (if it is known) wrote the work.
You'll find Welsh, Breton, Cornish, Scots-Gaelic, and Irish works of art here. I know I've often been dissapointed before to buy a book on "Celtic" poetry to find out it was only on Irish works.
To top it all off there is a huge list of end-notes. These explain all those obscure references you'll find in old poetry. Don't know where Aberffraw is, but its in your favorite poem? Flip to the back and find out.
I'm very pleased with this book. I can use it for my classes, simply by looking up a topic and browsing over the many selected works. And I also read it for pleasure, I find the section on humorous works especially enjoyable.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful selection, beautifully translated! August 1, 2005
By Hakuyu
Despite the recent 'boom' in Celtic literature, there are not that many anthologies around, which present the whole palette, as it were, of the Celtic mind, feeling and imagination. In this respect, Kenneth Jackson's anthology remains one of the best. When he died in 1991, his obituary notice in The Times declared him 'a master of all four of the major Celtic languages' - an accolade not many could claim. In fact, the material here has been drawn from six Celtic sources - Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Cornish and Manx (the variety of Celtic spoken in the Isle of Mann).

Hence, this anthology enables you to savour the taste of Celtic literature, from an unusual number of sources. While all translations have their limitations, Jackson had an uncanny way of reproducing the alliteration and feel of Celtic. In this book, we find Hero tales, epics, reflections on nature, love, delightful epigrams, Celtic magic poems, descriptive sketches,humour & satire, Bardic Poetry, Elegies, religious reflections etc. - a rich collage indeed.

The main text comprises 305 pages, but reading it is more akin to perusing a Celtic library, for that is effectively what Jackson had to do, to procure this rich diversity of sources. The text includes a map of Ireland and Wales, in case you want to locate places mentioned in the text. Extensive notes have been appended to the text - with a pronouncing index. Not everyone will want to get their tongue round that, but the beauty of this text is that you can dip into the material without worrying unduly about such matters, savouring the imagery for its own sake.

It is hard task to select passages for review, for the whole book deserves to be savoured. I may prejudice the reader's mind with my choices.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection August 17, 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This has been one of my two or three very favorite books since it came out. I read from it almost every day. I think that anyone interested in poetry or literature or just in the human spirit should have it by their sides. It is a wonderful selection, beautifully translated. It brings out the two things I like best about Celtic literature: the intense, immediate sensitivity to nature, and the extreme importance given to individual men and women (as opposed to the great big abstractions, symbols, word games, etc., in so much of literature). The Celts seem to have remembered, more often than most people, that individual human beings matter.
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