Cockatrice Selections

Welsh Folklore

Cockatrice Books brings you fiction and non-fiction celebrating the folk heritage of Wales.

Welsh Folklore by Elias Owen

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First chosen as winner of the National Eisteddfod in 1887, and subsequently revised for publication in 1896, Elias Owen’s study of Welsh folklore is a rich amalgam of scholarship and personal recollection. Concentrating on the northern districts of Wales, and with a wealth of tales and traditions concerning fairies, ghosts, devils, changelings, birds, beasts, spells, charms and cures, this is both an ideal companion to Wirt Sikes’s British Goblins or T. Gwynn Jones’s Welsh Folklore and Folk Custom, also published by Cockatrice, and a fascinating and accessible introduction to the folk tales and folklore of Wales.

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Welsh Folklore and Folk Custom by T. Gwynn Jones

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T. Gwynn Jones was both a distinguished poet, critic and translator, and a scholar of Welsh folklore. With a historical sweep which links the customs and superstitions of the early twentieth century with the gods and heroes of prehistory, he presents a panoply of witches, giants, fairies, ghosts, gods and monsters, traditional medicine, rural magic and calendar festivals in an erudite yet accessible introduction to the rich and fascinating folk heritage of Wales.

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Hallowe’en in the Cwm by Owen Wynne Jones

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Owen Wynne Jones, also known as Glasynys (1828-1870) was a school-teacher, and clergyman, an editor and poet, and an influential figure in the eisteddfod movement. But he was a also a folklorist and short-story writer, whose contributions to the Welsh anthology, Cymru Fu (1864), influenced T. Gwynn Jones among others, and now, in this new translation by Rob Mimpriss, a body of his work is available to English readers.

Combining horror, romance, humour and adventure with his own moving descriptions of the hospitality and generosity of ordinary people, these stories provide an account of a way of life now vanished, and a glimpse into the extraordinary richness of the Welsh oral tradition.

‘An invaluable translation.’

Angharad Price

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Twm Shôn Catti by T.J. Llewelyn Pritchard

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Twm Shôn Catti, gentleman of Tregaron. Poet, prankster, lover -- and thief.

Drawn from legends of banditry and resistance in Wales and more recent English literary influences, this pioneering Welsh novel in English from 1828 combines humour and adventure with a deep knowledge of Welsh customs during Wales’s first timid steps towards national reawakening.

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British Goblins by Wirt Sikes

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Wirt Sikes was a journalist, poet, diplomat, and a pioneer in the study of the folklore and folk customs of Wales. In this extraordinary book, he presents an array of fairies, giants, ghosts, monsters, devils, changelings, calendar customs, rites of passage and songs — all with the freshness of an American immersed in the rich and fascinating culture of Wales.

‘Through the aid of modern scientific research, those ages which the myths of centuries have peopled with heroic shadows are brought nearer to us, and the tylwyth teg reach back and shake hands with the Olympian gods.’ Wirt Sikes

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