A welcome addition to the ever-growing canon of Welsh myths and legends, Illustrated Tales Of Wales takes a slightly different approach from what the title may imply. Mark Rees has painstakingly created a fascinating collection of well-known tales from the dramatic mists of Wales’ past – but his unique approach gives the stories a wonderful relevance, placing the tales into our modern Wales through its superb accompanying images.
Given the title, you may expect sketches or full-colour illustrations, but Rees has collected beautifully-shot photographs of the stunning locations where the stories are set. Each one, taken on seemingly the most beautiful day of the year, shares images from Cadair Idris to Castell Coch, Beddgelert to the Black Mountain, in all its contemporary, beautiful splendour.
The tales themselves are told with the same matter-of-fact style particular to folk legends, with some factual context given by Rees as well. The end result is a fantastic, modern guide to stories as treasured as St Melangell, the Lady Of Llyn Y Fan Fach and even the Legends of King Arthur. A great companion to long-standing classics such as Gwyn Jones’ Welsh Legends And Folk Tales, but also a superb introduction and guide to the ultimate folk tale road trip.
Illustrated Tales Of Wales, Mark Rees (Amberley)
Price: £14.39. Info: here
words JOHN-PAUL DAVIES
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