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Celtic Folk-lore, Welsh and Manx

Nature volume 63, pages 485486 (21 March 1901) | Download Citation



PROF. RHYS has done well to republish, in these two handsome volumes, the collections of Celtic Folk-lore contributed by him to the pages of Y Cymmrodor and the Transactions of the Folk-lore Society. For not only are they thus rendered accessible to a larger number of readers, but he has enriched them with considerable additions, and a valuable commentary. Had he seen his way to recast the original articles, with a view to a more complete classification of their contents, it would have avoided some repetition, and would have set the relations of the various tales in a clearer light. But we must be grateful for the work in its present form. To recast the articles would have been a troublesome process, and perhaps no classification would have been entirely satisfactory. Moreover, we should certainly have missed in any such rearrangement much of the genial charm of the collections as they first came from his pen, derived from the personal narrative of the collector. To a large number of his readers this would have been a sacrifice they might not be willing to make, even for the sake of theoretical order. When, however, the severely virtuous student, who, intent only on what he is to learn, would have preferred to make this or any other sacrifice, has calmed, his ruffled feelings and settled down to his task of learning, he will speedily realise how important a contribution to anthropology, and in particular to Celtic archæology, he has before him.

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