In 2017, the Welsh Government, Visit Wales and Literature Wales are celebrating the places and the texts that make up the unique and bilingual literary heritage of Wales with a series of Year of Legends events and activities.
BookTalk will be joining them for its next event as it hosts four expert speakers to explore the fourth branch of the Mabinogi and later imaginings and re-imaginings of it:
- Dr Rob Gossedge (School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University) will look at the history of The Mabinogion and its first modern editor, Lady Charlotte Guest;
- Prof. Sioned Davies (School of Welsh, Cardiff University) will draw upon her own work in preparing a major recent scholarly edition of The Mabinogion (2007);
- Dr Juliette Wood (School of Welsh, Cardiff University) will focus on the trickery motif as it plays out in the fourth branch;
- Dr Jessica George (School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University) will discuss 20th- and 21st-century re-imaginings of the fourth branch.
The speakers will present short talks and there will be plenty of opportunity for audience questions and discussion. To make the most of the session, you may like to read or re-read The Mabinogion, focussing in particular on the fourth branch of the Mabinogi.
As usual, the main event will be preceded by a reception with tea, coffee and biscuits at 6.30pm in Cardiff University’s School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Maindy Road, Cardiff CF24 4HQ.
About the Mabinogion
Y Mabinogi/The Mabinogion comprises the earliest extant prose literature written in Britain. Originally prepared in Middle Welsh sometime between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, The Mabinogion drew on various earlier oral traditions, combining dramatic tales of romance, tragedy, fantasy and comedy. The spans eleven stories that range in character and type: among them, tales of questing heroes (‘Culhwch and Olwen’), historical legends (‘Lludd and Llefelys’) and early Arthurian chronicles (‘The Dream of Rhonabwy’). The first part Lady Charlotte Guest’s translation of the Mabinogion appeared in 1838, and was completed in seven parts in 1845. Guest’s edition of the Mabinogion remained standard until a much celebrated 1948 translation by Gwen and Thomas Jones. Most recently, Cardiff University’s Prof. Sioned Davies issued a fresh translation for Oxford University Press in 2007.