Boyd, Matthieu


Boyd, Matthieu, “[Review essay:] Gwerzioù for all! A look at the field”, North American Journal of Celtic Studies 2:2 (2018): 179–185.

  • journal article
Citation details
“[Review essay:] Gwerzioù for all! A look at the field”
Related publications
Constantine, Mary-Ann, and Éva Guillorel, Miracles & murders: an introductory anthology of Breton ballads, British Academy Monographs, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.  

This book offers an introduction 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 of stories based on tragic local events (shipwrecks, abductions, accidents and murders) or legends (miraculous rescues, penitent souls, strange journeys). Two of the foremost scholars in the field present a selection of thirty-five ballads in the original Breton with English translations and musical notation. An accompanying CD showcases some of the most famous Breton traditional singers, and a comprehensive introductory essay explores the nature of the songs and the contexts in which they have been performed. These are strikingly dramatic, often deeply moving stories of violence, love and grief, which will touch listeners and readers of all interests.

Subjects and topics
Dennis Groenewegen