The Mabinogion, Volume 1

ANONYMOUS ( - ), translated by Charlotte GUEST (1812 - 1895)

Sample a moment of magic realism from the Red Book of Hergest:

On one side of the river he saw a flock of white sheep, and on the other a flock of black sheep. And whenever one of the white sheep bleated, one of the black sheep would cross over, and become white; and when one of the black sheep bleated, one of the white sheep would cross over, and become black.

Before passing on to the Mabinogion proper, Lady Charlotte Guest devotes Volume I of her compilation of medieval Welsh tales to three brief romances of Arthur’s Court. The centrepiece is the story of Peredur, the Dumb Youth – known elsewhere as Perceval, Parzifal, the Holy Fool, et al.

This is the violent world of satin-clad knights and their clashing encounters, peremptory slayings of giants and cave-dwelling monsters – a world where love is as sudden and final as death. (Introduction by Martin Geeson)

Genre(s): Myths, Legends & Fairy Tales, Sagas

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 The Lady of the Fountain Martin Geeson
Play 02 Then the horn for washing was sounded... Martin Geeson
Play 03 Luned set out, under the pretence... Martin Geeson
Play 04 And as Owain one day sat at meat... Martin Geeson
Play 05 Peredur the Son of Evrawc Martin Geeson
Play 06 And Peredur rode forward Martin Geeson
Play 07 And the next day Peredur rode forth... Martin Geeson
Play 08 And the first night Peredur came to Caerlleon... Martin Geeson
Play 09 Arthur was in Caerlleon... Martin Geeson
Play 10 And the next day Peredur set forth... Martin Geeson
Play 11 Arthur was at Caerlleon upon Usk... Martin Geeson
Play 12 Then Peredur rode forward Martin Geeson
Play 13 The Dream of Rhonabwy Martin Geeson
Play 14 After this they saw a troop... Martin Geeson
Play 15 And Arthur and Owain marvelled... Martin Geeson