Miracles and Murders: An Introductory Anthology of Breton Ballads

Hardcover | June 25, 2017

byEva Guillorel, Mary-Ann Constantine

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This is a vivid introduction, by two of the foremost scholars in the field, to one of the most fascinating and little-known song traditions in Europe, the Breton gwerz, or ballad. These narrative songs, collected in Western Brittany from the 19th century to the present day, recount a wealth ofstories based on tragic local events or legends. They tell of shipwrecks, abductions, accidents and murders, miraculous rescues, penitent souls, and strange journeys. Quite unlike songs from the neighbouring French tradition, and distinct from anything else in the other Celtic languages, theseballads unfold in clear, spare verses, filled with striking imagery: they are often highly dramatic in nature.Historians of popular culture will find much to explore here, as will medievalists interested in tracing themes and legends across different European cultures, or linguists looking for rare material in Breton. But the gwerziou speak to readers and listeners of all kinds, with stories of violence,love, and grief that touch us directly today. This generous selection of songs is presented here for the first time in the original Breton with English translations and musical notation; an accompanying CD showcases some of the most famous Breton traditional singers. A comprehensive introductoryessay offers insights into the history of ballad collection in Brittany, the nature of the songs, and the contexts in which they have been performed.

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This is a vivid introduction, by two of the foremost scholars in the field, to one of the most fascinating and little-known song traditions in Europe, the Breton gwerz, or ballad. These narrative songs, collected in Western Brittany from the 19th century to the present day, recount a wealth ofstories based on tragic local events or leg...

Eva Guillorel is an Associate Professor in Early Modern History at the Universite de Caen Normandie. Her studies have included History, Ethnology and Celtic Languages, and she has held postdoctoral fellowships in Brittany, Quebec, United States and England. Her works is concerned with oral cultures and languages in early modern Europe ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:250 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0 inPublished:June 25, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0197266193

ISBN - 13:9780197266199

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Table of Contents

IntroductionThe BalladsLord Count and the FairySaint Henori and the King of BrestSkolvan, a penitent soulMaharit Laurans saved from the gallowsDom Jean Derrian's journey to Santiago de CompostelaSaint Iann Bubry, murderer and rapistBerhet, midwife to the Virgin MaryThe plague in LangonnetThe bridegroom and the mad dogSeven years at seaShipwreck at Penmarc'hThe siege of GuingampThe Heiress of Keroulaz: a forced marriageLord Villaudrain and the merchantsFontanelle and his banditsThe kidnap and suicide of Jeannedig ar RousMarharit Charles and her banditsLove and Leprosy: Iannik KokardJanedig the witchThe wax childThe lead towerCleric Laoudour and his sweetheartThe murder of Lord PenangerThe reprieve of ContrechapellMarivonnik abducted by English sailorsSea-changes: Catherin An TroadecInfanticide and penance: Mari KelenThe murdered servant girlThe drowning of Toussaint de KerguezecThe execution of the Marquis de PontcallecLoeiz Er Ravalleg murdered by his friendsThe twice-married womanThe recruit: Garan Ar BrizThe death of the chouan Jean JanOur Lady of Port-Blanc