Reply To: Bookshelf


    Trioedd Ynys Prydein – The Triads of the Islands of Britain, Rachel Bromwich (ed.). 4th edition (2014), University of Wales Press.

    This is what I would describe as an 834-page goldmine of information, or monster of a tome! There have been four editions of the work, going back to the first edition in 1961. Rachel Bromwich (1915-2010) taught Celtic languages and literature at Cambridge University and was a highly-esteemed academic in the field of Celtic studies and, especially Welsh literature.

    I would say that this book is essential for anyone interested in following a bardic path and or interested in medieval Welsh and, by extension, Brythonic, culture, folklore and literature. It would be impossible to summarise the book here, however, the strong points for me are the original Welsh verses with convenient translations but, above all, the exhaustive notes and the four useful appendices with guides to personal names, place names and the lore surrounding them. As I said before, it really is a goldmine of information and succeeds in shedding light and adding levels of understanding to the Welsh materials – especially to those whose knowledge of the Welsh language may be limited. For example, in the notes to personal names section, (p.284) there is a fascinating discussion of Ar(y)anrot that offers a number of insights and avenues to explore in relation to Arianrhod, including linkes to Gaulish, Breton lore and other literary sources and materials. If you want to go in depth, then this is certainly a brilliant reference guide.

    I wouldn’t exactly call it light reading, however, that obviously was not the way the work was intended! Perhaps on the pricier side, as more academic works unfortunately tend to be, I would regard this book as an investment in knowledge and a reference work to be used and enjoyed for a lifetime.