Cover image for Celtic memories
Celtic memories
Matthews, Caitlin, 1952-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Barefoot, [2003]

Physical Description:
80 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL900 .M4658 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BL900 .M4658 2003 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



An anthology of Celtic stories and blessings.

Author Notes

Caitlin Matthews is a world-celebrated teacher of Western spirituality and author of over thirty books. With her husband and frequent coauthor John Matthews, she founded the Foundation of Inspirational and Oracular Studies, in their native Great Britain. Their books have been translated into many languages including French, Italian, German, Czech, Dutch, Hebrew, Japanese and Russian.

The material in these books is based upon practical knowledge which they teach worldwide. They have made numerous appearances on television in the UK and US, and have been advisors on several series, including HRH Prince Edward's Crown and Country. They live in Oxford where Caitlín has a shamanic practice dedicated to midwifing the soul.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-6. Matthews retells six traditional stories from the Celtic people of Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Between the stories are single-page offerings from the same countries: blessings, songs, and a healing charm. The volume ends with notes on each of the stories, followed by guidance in pronouncing names such as Llanddeusant and N'oun Doare, an addition that readers and storytellers will appreciate. The spacious book design and fresh, appealing artwork make this volume a resplendent showcase for the stories, which are well chosen and well told. Besides the watercolor illustrations of people, places, and events in the narratives, each page has an intricate, Celtic-inspired border designed for that story or verse. A beautiful collection for reading aloud or reading alone. --Carolyn Phelan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

An array of folklore from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, and the Isle of Man comprises Celtic Memories retold by Caitlin Matthews, illus. by Olwyn Whelan. In "The Boy Who Didn't Know," a young man travels on a wise, magical mare; "The Cailleach of the Snows" tells of a girl named Bride's quest to overthrow the harsh winter of the Cailleach. These stories and poems tell of ordinary lives touched by spirits, enchantments and magical encounters. ( Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-6-A beautifully illustrated collection of folktales and poems from the various Celtic traditions: Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and Breton. In her thoughtful foreword, Matthews explains how folktales come from collective memory, and how the "magic" of stories is not necessarily only that of supernatural happenings, but also "everyday magic, which is part of everyday life." Imbued with both kinds of enchantment, the six tales included here are rich in mythic meaning and written in a lively style that begs to be told or read aloud. Some will be familiar to storytellers ("The Black Bull of Norroway"), while others may be less well known ("The Boy Who Didn't Know"). One selection from Scotland, "The Cailleach of the Snows," is the reteller's own synthesis of several myths about women connected with nature. A few of the offerings are particularly noteworthy for strong female characters, especially the Welsh Rhiannon. Interspersed throughout the book are six one-page songs and blessings used by ancient Celtic peoples to guard against harm and celebrate the seasons. Notes on the tales not only connect them to their sources, but also reflect on their subtle, underlying themes of human behavior. Pronunciation guides, which are essential for tongue-twisting Celtic names, are also included. The bright watercolors, done in a folk style, are perfectly suited to the subject matter. Eye-catching borders decorate the pages and echo the hues used in the paintings. A fine choice for folklore collections.-Connie C. Rockman, Stratford Library Association, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.