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Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend

by Miranda J. Green

Buy the book: Miranda J. Green. Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend

Release Date: November, 1997

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: Miranda J. Green. Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend


A bit disappointing

Miranda Green is a prolific and respected scholar of all things Celtic; of that, there's little doubt. An example of one of her finer works is _Animals in Celtic Myth and Life_ which is a tidy book filling a surprisingly large void in the general world of Celtic Studies. Green's dictionary of Celtic myth was a fairly pioneering work: there weren't many available, and hers quickly established itself as something of a standard text, generally because the competition was so slim. It was my first dictionary of the subject during my undergraduate years. In retrospect, however, it's a slim and incomplete effort. One only need compare it to MacKillop, whose dictionary would now be my first choice, just to see how inadequate most of Green's entries are. Moreover, one begins to feel just how much isn't present in her book. She tends to offer straightforward renditions of the major myths, without considering variations and regional discrepencies. There are also many details offered in tone which lead one to believe that the information were accepted truths, rather than scholarly conjecture. The book, like most published by Thames and Hudson, is laden with illustrations and pictures which do make this book worth considering. Generally, I think you'd most likely buy Green later on in your studies, sort of as a 2nd opinion to MacKillop. I tend to use my Green not so much as an encylopedic work, as I do a book to be read page by page as a historical outline. What I mean is, I think you'll find this book better used as a student's outline for basic acquaintence with the major stories and figures, rather than your main reference text.

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