The/Book of the Three Dragons Fates of the Princes of Dyfed Critical Essays

Kenneth Morris


(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

In some ways, Morris was a part of the turn-of-the-century Dublin literary circle that included such famous figures as William Butler Yeats, George Russell (AE), and Ella Young. In other and perhaps more important ways, Morris was a part of the fantastic literature tradition that began, in its modern form, with William Morris (no relation) and continues to flourish. William Morris borrowing of Scandinavian materials for A Tale of the House of the Wolfings, and All the Kindreds of the Mark (1889) and his development of the Secondary World in The Wood Beyond the World (1894) established the patterns for modern high fantasy literature. Kenneth Morris use of the medieval Welsh materials and his creation of a medieval world not unlike Wales are very much in the tradition of William Morris fiction.

Although Evangeline Waltons The Island of the Mighty (1970) was published as The Virgin and the Swine in 1936, the most obvious descendants of Morris Celtic fantasies appeared in the 1960s and 1970s. Lloyd Alexanders Chronicles of Prydain, Evangeline Waltons three other Mabinogi novels, and Alan Garners The Owl Service (1967) are among the most successful of the contemporary novels based on the Four Branches of the Mabinogi. In structure, Nancy Bonds A String in the Harp (1976), which interweaves the story of the medieval Welsh bard, Taliessin, with the story of a modern American family in Wales,...

(The entire section is 559 words.)