Welsh Heritage for Teenagers: Alan Garner, Jenny Nimmo, Catherine Fisher

  • Dimitra Fimi
Part of the Critical Approaches to Children's Literature book series (CRACL)


Chapter 5 concentrates on Pedair Cainc y Mabinogi (“The Four Branches of the Mabinogi”) and the tale of Taliesin. Alan Garner’s Carnegie Medal-winner The Owl Service (1967) is examined alongside Jenny Nimmo’s The Magician Trilogy (The Snow Spider, 1986, Emlyn’s Moon, 1987, and The Chestnut Soldier, 1989) and Catherine Fisher’s Darkhenge (2006). All three works are intrusion fantasies, in which the traditional narratives of Wales literally erupt into the primary world of the novels and become something much more powerful than just “old tales.” All three fantasy works reimagine (and have contemporary teenagers re-enact) particular scenes from Welsh legend in order to explore the transition from childhood to young adulthood in terms of personal, national, cultural, and class identity.


Welsh Language Stone Circle Mundane World Mythical Past Celtic Culture 
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  1. Garner, Alan. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. London: Collins, 1960.Google Scholar
  2. Garner, Alan. The Moon of Gomrath. London: Collins, 1963.Google Scholar
  3. Garner, Alan. Elidor. London: Collins, 1965.Google Scholar
  4. Matthews, John. Taliesin: The Last Celtic Shaman. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2002.Google Scholar
  5. Rolleston, T. W. Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race. London: G.G. Harrap & Co, 1911.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitra Fimi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesCardiff Metropolitan UniversityCardiffUnited Kingdom

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