The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends takes you to Magical Realms and Eras! πŸ“œ

Last updated on July 27, 2021
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  • For someone who obsesses over fairy tales, it is inevitable to not pick up a book that literally traces the origin of faerie lore. So, The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends (by Peter Berresford Ellis) was a must-have for me. The book goes back to the lands where it all started. It delves into ancient beliefs, customs, and bedtime stories from countries like Ireland and Scotland. Moreover, it helps remove the layers of time from the concepts of mythical creatures like leprechauns, elves, and shapeshifters.

    The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends (Review)

    The Mammoth Book Of Celtic Myths And Legends By Peter Ellis Review Rating Summary Author

    The book is one of those possessions that you would want to hand down to the next generation. Just like the treasures and magical secrets that one holds dear, the book too becomes more of an artefact that a lover of fairies would want to keep in their family for years and years.Β 

    The Sections: The book is divided into seven parts. It begins with an introduction to Celtic traditions and mythology, comparing them with modern parallels. It does the groundwork for providing the reader with appropriate context before they can start reading the actual stories. It is raw and honest, not to mention extremely beautiful and exciting. The introduction part is a wonderful promise that the book offers exactly what you would expect: A journey through the magical realms transcending time.Β 

    The other six sections focus on the six key regions from where the stories are believed to have originated: Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany. You would certainly find overlapping anecdotes with minor tweaks in the plot. However, most of the stories under each section have traits unique to that section. For example, there are themes of otherworldly creatures in one while another focuses more on concepts that are more to do with morality and consequences of being immoral. Similarly, there are distinct qualities in the stories that stand out for every region.Β 

    You will be introduced to:





    • Elemental gods and goddesses
    • Vengeful sorcerers and enchantresses
    • Anthropomorphic animals, birds, and reptiles
    • Trees full of wisdom and fruits that grant eternal life
    • Brave women and men who battle unseen forces
    • Beautiful otherworldly maidens and men who either bless you or curse you depending on their nature and yours, their agenda and your actions, etc.Β 
    • Fabulous beasts stepping out of a child’s imagination
    • Bewitched weapons that seem to have a life of their own

    And lots more!Β 

    The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends is truly an epic journey into wild adventures. While most leave you pondering over a life lesson, there are a few that stir your curiosity by leaving several unanswered questions behind. But that is the beauty of myths and legends. They don’t often have to make sense.Β 

    The Poetry: The narrative style of this book is truly poetic. And not just because of the fascinating rhymes included throughout the pages. It is more to do with the way the author has treated the subject matter. While reading, you will be surprised at how remarkably Peter Berresford Ellis has managed to capture the soul of these myths and legends.Β 

    It is evident that the author has treated the book as a project that is very close to his heart. He has investigated historical accounts along with in-person narratives across families. In addition, he has also managed to keep the romance in these tales intact. You’ll find love poems, songs, musical verses, and odes to personal tragedies.Β 

    β€œThere are arrows that murder sleep

    Remembering you, my love;Β 

    Thinking of nights we spent together

    Recalling our intimate secrets.

    There are arrows that murder sleep,

    Sharp points of love recalled,





    The sweet music of a lover’s tongue

    Lost in the cold night air….”

    To complement the latter, you would also find happy anecdotes summarized beautifully in innocent couplets.

    For creative people, the book would help exercise your creative muscle in more ways than one. Right from the spectacular imagery to the fantastic concepts, there is enough fodder to keep you engaged and inspired.Β 

    Verdict:Β One thing that this book convinced me of is the fact that there is no smoke without a fire. There are certain similarities in the concepts explored in these stories and the familiar concepts of the world we live in. If you are familiar with stories from other cultures, you will find similarities in Celtic lore as well. And there is a possibility that not everything can be dismissed as the overactive imagination of the ancients.Β 

    The Mammoth Book Of Celtic Myths And Legends Takes You To Magical Realms And Eras

    In my opinion, a lot of these stories erupted from a limited understanding of valid phenomena in the past. Besides, there were limited resources to explore certain beliefs in those times. There could be hallucinations, dreams, but there could be realities too that we are unaware of. We can never know for sure. But do we even want to know? Wouldn’t the magic be diluted then?

    And that is why I recommend approaching this book with a child’s mind. Do not try to rationalize everything because not everything has to make sense the way we think. For me, this book was like a dream journal comprising of multiple oral recitations, folk traditions, and poetic influences. Dating back to the vibrant mythologies sourced from bygone European civilizations, these stories will open up your minds to wonderful supernatural possibilities – just what children’s stories do.Β 

    In other words, if you try to read too much into it or try to find faults in the problematic elements (yes, the tales are outdated, and yes, there are several problematic themes), you will not be able to enjoy it. It is better to understand that these tales date back centuries and represent beliefs people held back then. It is not a fictional account nor the author’s own views. Think of it as an antique collection of expressions represented in a text form. Think of it as an object you would admire in a museum as a visitor. You don’t have to agree to everything it contains. Just observe it as if you were dreaming!

    And it is for the sake of dreams, a toast to magic, that gives this book a five-star rating. You can get the book here! πŸ“–

    The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends
    The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends by Peter Ellis Review Rating Summary Author

    For someone who obsesses over fairy tales, it is inevitable to not pick up a book that literally traces the origin of faerie lore. So, The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends (by Peter Berresford Ellis) was a must-have for me. The book goes back to the lands where it all started. It delves into ancient beliefs, customs, and bedtime stories from countries like Ireland and Scotland. Moreover, it helps remove the layers of time from the concepts of mythical creatures like leprechauns, elves, and shapeshifters.





    URL: https://bookwritten.com/the-mammoth-book-of-celtic-myths-and-legends-by-peter-ellis-review/4866/

    Author: Peter Berresford Ellis

    Editor's Rating:
    5

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    Last updated on July 27, 2021

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