Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy

Celtic Myth in Contemporary Children’s Fantasy: Idealization, Identity, Ideology

This book examines the creative uses of “Celtic” myth in contemporary fantasy written for children or young adults from the 1960s to the 2000s. Its scope ranges from classic children’s fantasies such as Lloyd Alexander’s The Chronicles of Prydain and Alan Garner’s The Owl Service, to some of the most recent, award-winning fantasy authors of the last decade, such as Kate Thompson (The New Policeman) and Catherine Fisher (Darkhenge). The book focuses on the ways these fantasy works have appropriated and adapted Irish and Welsh medieval literature in order to highlight different perceptions of “Celticity.” The term “Celtic” itself is interrogated in light of recent debates in Celtic studies, in order to explore a fictional representation of a national past that is often romanticized and political.

Winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies 2019

Runner-up for the Katharine Briggs Award 2017

Reviews and Endorsements:

“Like the characters with whom it deals, this book walks between worlds, in this case those of medieval Irish and Welsh literature, of modern romantic Celticists, and of fiction produced for young adults. It does so with a remarkable knowledge of each, producing a host of new insights.”

Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, University of Bristol, UK

“a clear, substantial, and original contribution to fantasy studies.”

Brian Attebery, International Research in Children’s Literature (IRCL)


More information and links:

Further details on the book including TOC can be found here

You can buy the book from Amazon.co.uk here

Extracts can be read via Google Books here

You can find an “extended” Table of Contents here

More about the cover of the book can be found here

You can read a review by Brian Attebery in International Research in Children’s Literature (IRCL) here