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is a collection of stories and myths from the Breton folklore, compiled and retold by Lewis Spence. The book is divided into two parts, the first focusing on the legendary history of Brittany, while the second delves into the romantic tales and legends of the region.
Brittany, a region in northwest France, has a rich cultural heritage, deeply rooted in its Celtic past. Throughout history, the region has been influenced by various cultures and civilizations, resulting in a unique blend of traditions and folklore. Spence’s book is a testament to this rich cultural heritage, presenting a diverse range of stories and legends that reflect the region’s unique history and culture.
The first part of the book focuses on the legendary history of Brittany, beginning with the story of King Gradlon, the legendary ruler of the ancient city of Ys, which was said to have been submerged beneath the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Other tales in this section include the story of the giant Gargantua, who according to legend, roamed the hills of Brittany, and the tale of Merlin, the legendary wizard who was said to have lived in the region.
The second part of the book focuses on the romantic tales and legends of Brittany. These stories reflect the region’s rich tradition of folklore, with themes of love, magic, and adventure. One such story is the tale of Tristan and Isolde, a classic tale of forbidden love that has been retold throughout history. Another popular tale is that of the fairy Melusine, who was said to have built many of the castles and fortresses in the region.
Throughout the book, Spence’s retellings of the stories are vivid and engaging, bringing to life the colorful characters and landscapes of Brittany. His prose captures the enchanting and magical qualities of the stories, evoking the unique spirit of the region.
One of the strengths of “Legends & Romances of Brittany” is its cultural and historical significance. The book offers a unique insight into the Breton culture and its rich folklore, providing a glimpse into the region’s Celtic past and its enduring legacy. The stories in the book are steeped in the traditions and beliefs of the region, reflecting the customs and values of the Breton people.
Another strength of the book is its appeal to a wide audience. The stories are accessible to readers of all ages and backgrounds, and their themes of love, adventure, and magic are universally appealing. Spence’s retellings are engaging and captivating, drawing readers into the world of the stories and encouraging them to explore the rich cultural heritage of Brittany.
Overall, “Legends & Romances of Brittany” is a delightful collection of stories and myths that captures the magic and enchantment of the Breton folklore. Spence’s retellings are engaging and vivid, bringing to life the colorful characters and landscapes of Brittany. The book offers a fascinating glimpse into the unique culture and history of the region, making it a must-read for anyone interested in folklore, mythology, or cultural history.