Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/123

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Reviews. 107

the work as a " classic " that should be kept before each generation of readers, and we are pleased that there are sufficient purchasers of this class of book to encourage the publishers in supplying, the demand.

A. C. Haddon.

The Mabinogion. Translated by Lady C. Guest, and Edited by A. NuTT. D. Nutt. 2s. i vol.

The name of Mr. Nutt on the title page of a book dealing with Celtic literature is in itself a sufficient guarantee of excellence. And, though the present edition professes to be merely a reprint in popular form of Lady Charlotte Guest's translation of the Mabinogion, it yet contains enough of Mr. Nutt's sound scholar- ship to make the volume, if not a text-book for the student, at least a " remembrancer " in small compass of many pleasant things.

Lady Charlotte Guest's original three-volume edition, excellent though it is as literature, has, as far as the critical notes are con- cerned, of necessity been somewhat superseded by the results of modern Celtic researches. Besides which, the imposing tomes are rather alarming to the casual reader, to whom also Mons. Loth's French version, good though it be, does not appeal. But Mr. Nutt's delightful little volume, whilst rightly keeping to Lady Charlotte's inimitable translation, has a compact charm which should entice the veriest idler. It is convenient and reasonable both in form and price, and has just that suspicion of age in type and paper required by the text, without descending to the affecta- tion of quaintness. Other and more important advantages are the rearrangement of the tales, and the all-too-brief notes with which Mr. Nutt has illuminated the text. His method of group- ing the stories according to subject and character makes for clear- ness and for an easier appreciation of the various strata of culture and imagination illustrated by the Mabinogion. And his notes, short though they be, form a sufficient commentary for those who do not wish to go deeply into the subject, and afford a trust- worthy clue to those who are disposed to pursue it further.

Margaret Eyre.