Celtic Weird

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Celtic Weird: Tales of Wicked Folklore and Dark Mythology edited by Johnny Mains

Hardcover – British Museum – Sep 2023 – 323 pages

Once I thought I glimpsed her high up in a bush, like dirty rags in a gale. Not that so far there has been any gale, or even any wind. The total silent stillness is one of the worst things.

Yes, it is a battle with strong and unknown forces that I have on my hands.

From the shorelines, hills and towns of ancient lands, tales of twisted creatures, sins against nature and pagan revenants have been passed down from generation to generation. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, folklore from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man inspired a new strain of strange short stories, penned by writers of the weird and fantastic including masters of the form such as Arthur Machen, Edith Wharton and Robert Aickman.

In this volume, Johnny Mains dives into the archives to unearth a hoard of twenty-one enthralling tales imbued with elements of Celtic folklore, ranging from the 1820s to the 1980s and including three weird lost gems translated from Gaelic. Together they conjure uncanny visions of eternal forces, beings and traditions, resonating with the beguiling essence of this unique branch of strange fiction.

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