The Celts - that artistically rich, magnificent people whose legendary history culminated in the heroic reign of King Arthur - have long been a source of wonder for many. Their heritage is a treasure-trove: stories of epic heroism, of women who fought alongside their men, of giants and towering challenge, of ultimate sacrifice joyously given, of magnificent courage and high humour, of myth, magic, marvel - and through it all, the scarlet thread of tragic realism that governed a people beset by the constantly recurring threat of extinction. Because the Celts themselves had no written tradition, Joy Chant has chosen to tell their magnificent legends as they had been told in their own time - by bards around a campfire, or at the courts of their High Kings. And for time and place she has chosen the last great Celtic court - that of King Arthur - setting each tale within a framework that includes a note about the historical or cultural background. Each legend is illuminated by the paintings of George Sharp, who worked closely with the author and editor every step of the way. In addition to the full colour plates and the illustrations, David Larkin, art designer for the book, has selected Celtic decorative patterns, maps and reproductions of their marvellous bronze and gold artifacts to enhance the stories and notes. The result is high drama, an extraordinary overview of the legends of the Celts, placing them in relation to the state of mind of Arthur's people as they gathered themselves for the final defense of their way of life. Here, then, is a unique volume that combines rich visual imagery with sweeping epic, and captures the lives of the Celts through the great historic myths that bred them.
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September 1983 : USA Hardback
June 1987 : UK Paperback
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