Julian Worker's Reviews > The Book of Taliesin. Poems of Warfare and Praise in an Enchanted Britain

The Book of Taliesin. Poems of Warfare and Praise in an Encha... by Rowan Williams
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really liked it

This is a history book as well as a book of poetry.

Firstly, there are 60 pages of introduction. I advise you to read this introduction as it sets the scene for both the history and the poetry. There are 6 pages of notes for the introduction.

The book is in English and has been translated from Welsh by two of Wales's foremost Gwyneth Lewis and Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. The original book dates from the 13th Century and is an anthology of 700 years of anonymous poetry about battles, more battles, heroes, mystery, and Christian faith.

Taliesin is an important name in Welsh Literature who is partly real, partly myth, and partly a folkloric memory. He might well have been a sixth-century poet, a magician, a seer, and a chronicler of early Welsh history from the time just after the Romans left Britain when the Saxons were pushing westwards from their east coast strongholds.

These poems are fascinating and sparkle with imagery. They also show how people enjoyed themselves when they could and fought battles when they had to. Both were part of life, a life that was brutal and short for most people in those days.

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Reading Progress

January 23, 2021 – Started Reading
January 23, 2021 – Shelved
January 23, 2021 –
page 21
10.1% "I've started reading the poems, but they won't take as long to read as the amazing 60-page introduction with 6 pages of notes. This introduction must count as the most necessary and worthwhile start to any book I've ever read. It would be wonderful if someone could write a book about the history of all the places mentioned in the book from the time just after the Romans left. Or perhaps they have?"
January 24, 2021 –
page 36
17.31%
January 25, 2021 –
page 42
20.19%
January 26, 2021 –
page 51
24.52%
January 29, 2021 –
page 68
32.69%
January 29, 2021 –
page 68
32.69%
January 30, 2021 –
page 71
34.13%
January 31, 2021 –
page 82
39.42%
February 1, 2021 –
page 98
47.12%
February 2, 2021 –
page 109
52.4%
February 3, 2021 –
page 123
59.13%
February 9, 2021 –
page 142
68.27%
February 10, 2021 –
page 150
72.12%
February 13, 2021 –
page 178
85.58%
February 14, 2021 –
page 178
85.58%
February 14, 2021 – Finished Reading

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