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The Mabinogion

Narrated by: James Cameron Stewart
Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
3.4 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Summary

Then they took the flowers of the oak, and the flowers of the broom, and the flowers of the meadowsweet, and from those they conjured up the fairest and most beautiful maiden that anyone had ever seen.

Celtic mythology, Arthurian romance, and an intriguing interpretation of British history - these are just some of the themes embraced by the anonymous authors of the eleven tales that make up the Welsh medieval masterpiece known as The Mabinogion.

They tell of Gwydion the shape-shifter, who can create a woman out of flowers; of Math the magician whose feet must lie in the lap of a virgin; of hanging a pregnant mouse and hunting a magical boar. Dragons, witches, and giants live alongside kings and heroes, and quests of honor, revenge, and love are set against the backdrop of a country struggling to retain its independence.

Sioned Davies's lively translation re-creates the storytelling world of medieval Wales and reinvests the tales with the power of performance.

©2007 Sioned Davies (P)2018 Tantor

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    5 out of 5 stars

Dreadful Welsh pronunciation ruins this fine translation

Sioned Davies is widely regarded as the world's expert on The Mabinogion and her translation is magnificent- it captures the mood and feeling of early Medieval Wales brilliantly. So why was James Cameron Stewart chosen to read it? He cannot pronounce the Welsh names and utterly mangles the lyricism of the work. I stuck it out for Branch 1 - but his pronunciation of names like Pwyll had me on edge. I returned the audiobook and got my credit back. What a lost opportunity. What a pity Davies didn't get the narrator her translation deserves.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Endured for 7 mins of chapter two,

Utterly dreadful narration, it might have improved from minute eight but it was beyond all my powers to go any further, has been returned. Cannot comment on the story for obvious reasons

4 people found this helpful

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Terrible pronunciation

Such a missed opportunity. Why not use a narrator who could actually pronounce the Welsh names? Unfair to ask a non Welsh speaker to do it. Narrator also fails to bring any life to some stories, particularly the later ones. Sich a brilliant translation requires a far better production. Try again.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

A really excellent translation performed.as it should be by a superb narrator. This is by far the best way to tackle a complex and often surreal text