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The Mythology and Folklore of the Celts: Collections

By Drew Timmons


Many myths and folktales have been brought together in anthologies, which provide a broad overview of the material. For mythology, Peter Berresford Ellis’s The Chronicles of the Celts and Philip Freeman’s Celtic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes, both discussed earlier in this essay, give basic summaries with some historical/archaeological context of the Celtic myths. Ellis also discusses some folklore and Freeman covers Irish and Welsh mythologies. Those more interested in archaeological and historical context will prefer Proinsias MacCana’s Celtic Mythology.

Those interested in Irish folktales will find Irish Folktales, edited by Henry Glassie, mentioned above, an excellent starting point. Glassie not only provides a history of the collecting of Irish folktales, but he also organizes the stories by theme and includes tales that he himself collected. Another great resource is Katherine Briggs’s British Folktales, which is also organized by theme. Briggs’s book should not be confused with Folktales of the British Isles, edited by Kevin Crossley-Holland (discussed above), which provides a much broader amalgamation of folktales from all over the British Isles and includes with an introduction to each.

Works Cited