Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children's Fantasy: Idealization, Identity, Ideology

Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children's Fantasy: Idealization, Identity, Ideology

by Dimitra Fimi

Hardcover(1st ed. 2017)

$109.99
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137552815
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Series: Critical Approaches to Children's Literature
Edition description: 1st ed. 2017
Pages: 305
Sales rank: 886,889
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Dimitra Fimi is Senior Lecturer in English at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales, UK. Her monograph Tolkien, Race and Cultural History won the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inklings Studies. She is co-editor A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages. She lectures on fantasy, children’s literature, and medievalism.

Table of Contents


1.Introduction.- Part I. Irish Myth.- 2. Otherworldly Ireland.- 3. Celticity and the Irish Diaspora.- Part II. Welsh Myth.- 4. Lloyd Alexander’s 'The Chronicles of Prydain'.- 5. Welsh Heritage for Teenagers.- 6. Susan Cooper and the Arthur of the Welsh.- 7. Conclusion.- Bibliography.- Index.

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From the Publisher

“Like the characters with whom it deals, this book walks between worlds, in this case those of medieval Irish and Welsh literature, of modern romantic Celticists, and of fiction produced for young adults. It does so with a remarkable knowledge of each, producing a host of new insights.” (Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, University of Bristol, UK)

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Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children's Fantasy: Idealization, Identity, Ideology 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Tom_Hillman More than 1 year ago
It was with a learned touch and a clear, precise voice that Dimitra Fimi gave us Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits. This essential work she followed up, in splendid alliance with Andrew Higgins, with J. R. R. Tolkien: A Secret Vice. Now she devotes that same scholarship and persuasive clarity to Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy: Idealization, Identity, Ideology. Calling out this intriguing partnership of myth and genre, Dr Fimi analyzes the ways in which today’s writers have drawn upon primary texts, centuries old folklore, 19th and 20th century scholarship (some of it problematic if not downright loony), as well as the fantasy of earlier writers (e.g., Alan Garner), and transformed these sources into stories of their own that resonate with their own times and concerns. In this regard they have much in common with Celtic writers, both Irish and Welsh, as far back as the Middle Ages. Whether the young protagonists of these tales travel themselves to the past or to the Otherworld, or whether the past and the Otherworld come to them, these fantasies combine education and pleasure, utile dulci: family, culture, nationality, and growing up blend with enchantment, adventure, and wonder. They all take place within a continuum of ‘Celticity’, which sometimes seems best understood as a portmanteau of ‘Celtic’ and ‘elasticity’. If the writers Dimitra Fimi has studied here – Susan Cooper, Alan Garner, Mary Tannen, Pat O’Shea, Lloyd Alexander, Kate Thompson, Henry Neff, Jenny Nimmo, and Catherine Fisher – have not told tales as up to date as they might have been from the perspective of contemporary scholarly understanding of the Celts, they have succeeded in telling tales that will inform and delight the young of all kinds, and spur them onward to learn both more and better. Thanks to Dr Fimi’s fine synthesis, the readers of the present volume will also go forward, informed and delighted, about these works in particular and about the writing of Children’s fantasy in general.