Celtic language and mythology, which predates the Greeks and Romans, descends from an ancient oral tradition. Celtic culture was the first to develop a philosophy of immortality. Ellis, author of A Dictionary of Irish Mythology ABC-Clio, 1991 here dissects the scope of Celtic myth and legend. Comparisons are offered among the six cultures: Irish, Welsh, Manx, Scottish, Cornish, and Breton. A very good introduction discusses the roles of the cultures, the evolution or demise of the language, and the legends. The entries are thorough and well written. An excellent selected bibliography rounds out this interesting reference. For large mythology collections.-- Gail Wood, Montgomery Coll. Lib., Germantown, Md.
Articles ranging from a paragraph to a page identify and describe people, places, events, and concepts associated with the mythology of Celtic peoples. Like his 1989 similar treatment of Irish mythology, historian and novelist Ellis addresses the general reader, rather than the scholar, in clear and lively prose. The information from Ireland is here incorporated in less detail. He does an excellent job of identifying modern editions of the works the topics come from. Even the general reader, however, might appreciate a notice of which work a particular character appears in. In addition, any such dictionary that indicated, even generally, how to pronounce the names, would become a beloved classic to generations of popular readers. (GD) Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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This alphabetical reference contains entries on the deities, human characters, and mythological beasts found in Celtic legends, which predate and were the source for the Irish tales that followed.