21.6 x 13.8 cm. xvi, 156 pp. 1991
These ten original tales, some dating from the 11th century, have been painstakingly unearthed and written up by Ronald Barnes. Several of these stories surfaced in Yorkshire, whence Welsh monks had fled during religious purges, and are published for the first time. These have been relatively unaltered by retelling over the centuries while others are attributed to bards who changed the story lines almost beyond recognition.
There was an abundance of other legends, too, many attributed to resourceful bards who, over the centuries, changed the story lines almost beyond recognition.
Some of the greatest legends, particularly those based upon proven historical facts, owe their survival to monks and others who fled to Yorkshire during religious purges. There they lay dormant and thus escaped the ravages of repetition.
Several of these wonder tales, dating from the 11th to 13th centuries, resurfaced in 1794 when they were recounted to a Yorkshire scholar in what is almost certainly their original form. Now they are retold once more, in print now for the first time. Included are:
The Legend of the Triple Sacrifice,
The Three Sisters of Ardudwy,
The Maidens of the Sea Marsh,
Roderick of Anglesea,
Mhaira and Madoc,
Owain Gwynedd's Silver Dagger,
The Lake of the Fair Ones,
The Dyn Hysbys,
The Legend of Beddgelert and
The Black Bull of Gwynedd.
During the second World War, while the author was seconded to the Indian Army, he became a regular contributor to The Illustrated Weekly, The Statesman, The Onlooker and The Times of India, winning the Literary Grand Prix in the Arts in Industry Exhibition. Throughout the campaign in Burma he commanded the Air Support Signals prior to serving in the 14th Army Staff, where he became interested in Indo-Celtic mythology.
After the war he returned to England to take up an Intelligence appointment on the Imperial General Staff. Later, in civilian life, he set up his own business which left little time for writing, until his retirement. He is adamant that he will never undertake another challenge like Great Legends of Wales, which took five years to research.More info →