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Gwybodaeth Lyfryddol
Folklore of the Welsh Border
Jacqueline Simpson
ISBN: 9780752426235 (0752426230)Dyddiad Cyhoeddi Mai 2003
Cyhoeddwr: Tempus Publishing Limited, Stroud
Fformat: Clawr Meddal, 235x156 mm, 224 tudalen Iaith: Saesneg Allan o Stoc - Ystyrir Adargraffu Ein Pris: £14.99   
Does dim Adolygiad Cwsmer i'r teitl hwn.
 
Ysgrifennwch Adolygiad Cwsmer
Argraffiad diwygiedig o astudiaeth hynod ddiddorol o straeon a chwedlau, traddodiadau ac arferion gwerin siroedd Aberhonddu, swydd Gaer, Dinbych, Caerloyw, Henffordd, Mynwy, Trefaldwyn, Maesyfed a swydd Amwythig, gyda nodiadau eglurhaol a mynegai. Cyhoeddwyd gyntaf yn 1976.

A revised edition of a fascinating study of folk tales and myths, traditions and customs relating to the border counties of Brecon, Cheshire, Denbigh, Gloucester, Hereford, Monmouth, Montgomery, Radnor and Shropshire, with explanatory notes and index. First published in 1976.
The first edition of this book appeared in 1976 (published by Batsford), and it has been revised for this reissue. There is a useful map of the borders as frontispiece and a Foreword, giving the historical background to the Marches, by Venetia Newall of the University of London, which emphasises the regional influence on culture in general and folklore in particular, reflected also in Jacqueline Simpson's Introduction - 'a unity of tradition which the arbitrary lines of county boundaries obscure'. As is to be expected, Welsh influence is very strong, so one finds familiar stories and rituals all along the border.

The author has synthesised her vast quantity of material neatly and stylishly under various headings: 'The Landscape' - considering the way 'blots on the landscape' like gigantic rocks have always attracted mythical stories as to their origin; 'Rumours of War'; 'Local Heroes, Fools, Rogues and Villains' (a nice distinction); 'Wizards and Witches'; 'Fairies'; 'Ghosts'; 'Holy Wells and Healing Charms'; 'From the Cradle to the Grave' - customs associated with birth, marriage and death; 'The Turning Year': January to May and June to December.

There are only a couple of minor errors: there is a reference in the 'Local Heroes' chapter to the Rebecca Riots and the originator 'a Pembrokeshire man' is said to have borrowed his clothes 'from a particularly big woman called Great Rebecca of Llangollen'. This is obviously a simple error of substituting a familiar name for the less familiar Pembrokeshire parish of Llangolman. And Llandrindod Wells consistently appears as Llandridod, even in the index.

There are notes on sources and a select bibliography, and, for serious folklorists, an index of Tale Types and another on Motifs - elements recurring within the plots of several folk-tales like 'the wicked stepmother', as well as the more usual general index. The striking cover photograph of Morris Dancers performing 'Border Bedlam Molly' in 1994 serves to remind us that many folklore-inspired events can be enjoyed by locals and visitors to the present day.

Sue Passmore

It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgement should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.

Gellir defnyddio’r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.
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