Myth-Folklore Unit: Welsh Fairy Book (Thomas)

Overview. The readings for this unit come from a book by W. Jenkyn Thomas published in 1908: The Welsh Fairy Book. Thomas was a schoolmaster in South Wales and wanted to share with his students the storytelling traditions that were native to the country of Wales, one of the most important centers of Celtic storytelling in the British Isles. You will find stories here about King Arthur and about Merlin, along with other historical and legendary rulers of Wales such as King March and Prince Llewelyn. There are stories of haunted lakes and buried treasure, supernatural monsters and magical spells, as well as many tales about the "fair family," the Tyleth Teg as the fairy folk are called in Welsh. And if you are wondering about how to pronounce all those Welsh names, Thomas provides a helpful pronunciation guide. Yes, those are the same Roman letters used in writing English, but they are used rather differently in Welsh writing!

Language. Thomas tells the fairy tales in modern literary prose, so it is not difficult reading.

Story Length. The stories in this unit are all single-page stories.

Choosing Between Units. This book of Welsh stories contains literary fairy tales, while the Welsh unit by Emerson contains stories that are closer to the oral storytelling tradition, more like folktales.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: The Welsh Fairy Book (Thomas). Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

  1. Arthur in the Cave
  2. Why the Red Dragon is the Emblem of Wales
  3. Einion and the Lady of the Greenwood
  4. March's Ears
  5. The Stray Cow
  6. Bala Lake
  7. Tudur ap Einion
  8. Dick the Fiddler's Money
  9. Einion and the Fair Family
  10. St Collen and the King of Fairy
  11. Helig's Hollow
  1. Owen Goes A-Wooing
  2. The Fairy Reward
  3. Why Deunant has the Front Door in the Back
  4. The Bride from the Red Lake
  5. John Gethin and the Candle
  6. Melangell's Lambs
  7. The Men of Ardudwy
  8. Hu Gadarn
  9. The Devil's Bridge
  10. The Martyred Hound