The Voyage of St Brendan

BookThe Voyage of St Brendan

The Voyage of St Brendan

Representative Versions of the Legend in English Translation with Indexes of Themes and Motifs from the Stories

Exeter Medieval Texts and Studies

2005

February 5th, 2005

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In recent years Brendan's voyage has become increasingly popular as a topic of interest, not only in medieval studies, but also within the history of travel literature in general. One of the legend's charms is that it can be read in a number of ways: as a thinly disguised account of Irish travels and discoveries in the Atlantic, as a seafaring story in the fashion of the Irish immrama (literally 'rowings out'), or as an allegorical tale of Man's journey through life. It also has links with the monastic culture of its day, and contains echoes of the Odyssey and the Aeneid, Sinbad the Sailor and the quest for the Holy Grail.Barron and Burgess's volume collects the most important versions of the voyage from a wide variety of cultures, and presents them in modern English translations together with a general introduction to Brendan, explanatory commentaries and an extensive bibliography.This new paperback edition also includes a comprehensive index of story-elements specially devised with the Brendan student in mind to allow easy comparison of the different versions.

This collection of translations will allow diffusion of the different versions of that legend to a wide audience… One of the great stories of the Middle Ages, the Voyage of Saint Brendan will now be as easily available as other classic journey tales.
Mystics Quarterly

In addition to the translations, the volume also contains useful introductory commentaries to each of the versions by the translators ... The valuable introductions present to the reader the current scholarship on the authorship, manuscripts, genre, and sources of each version and are extremely useful to both the scholar and student of the Brendan by Burgess and an extensive bibliography of both criticism and manuscripts.
Medium Ævum, Vol. LXXIII

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About The Author

The late W. R. J. Barron was Senior Research Fellow in the School of English, University of Exeter. He was President of the International Arthurian Society (British Branch) and Director of its Vinaver Trust. His books include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Manchester, 1998) and Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, Vol. II (series editor) (Wales, 1999). Glyn S. Burgess is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Liverpool. His Penguin Classics edition of The Lais of Marie de France has sold more than 150,000 copies. The late W. R. J. Barron was Senior Research Fellow in the School of English, University of Exeter. He was President of the International Arthurian Society (British Branch) and Director of its Vinaver Trust. His books include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Manchester, 1998) and Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, Vol. II (series editor) (Wales, 1999).