The Black Book of Carmarthen – Review

This book dates from around 1250AD though many of the poems contained in it are a lot older and occur nowhere else, showing what a valuable service the unknown monk who copied them down onto a manuscript did for the world of literature.

It’s believed this monk resided at the Augustinian Priory of St Johns in Carmarthen. He was a Welsh-speaking monk amongst many Norman and English brothers and wanted to place a number of poems centred on Dyfed and Carmarthen in the same anthology.

These poems include dialogue between Myrddin (Merlin) and Taliesin who is believed to have lived between 534 and 599. Taliesin was chief bard in the courts of at least three kings of Britain. There are also verses said to have been written by Myrddin after the Battle of Arderydd, when he was in hiding.

The presence of these poems corroborates the Carmarthen link as the legend of Myrddin is said to be in part a fictional explanation of the name of the town.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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