Celtic Mythology by John Arnott MacCulloch


This book is a reproduction of the Celtic section of The Mythology of All Races, volume three of thirteen called Celtic and Slavic, which was edited by Louis Herbert Gray and published in 1918.  This section of the volume was then published as its own book in 2004.

The introduction of the book gives us a bit of the history behind the myths, and what the classical writers were saying about them.  He also tells us where he is taking his material from for the book and that is mainly from Welsh and Irish sources.

The book is divided a little differently then most Celtic Mythology books.  The chapters are divided into subjects rather than by countries and there are fifteen chapters in this book.  The chapters deal with the gods, and how they behave in different situations; they deal with myths of the “British Celts”, with the divine land, with mythical animals and beings, with myths of origin, with heroic myths, and finally with paganism and Christianity.

The book is a little out of date yet it is a good way to see the progress of the research into the myths of the Celts.  It is also a handy reference to have around because of the way the chapters are divided.  The reference section at the back of the book is impressive also.  The book however, is a dry read, probably because it was originally part of a larger piece of work.  Also, the last chapter about paganism versus Christianity bothered me a little.  I came out of the chapter with the thought that the author was biased against the spiritual relevance of the material he was discussing.

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