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'THE MABINOGION' AND LADY CHARLOTTE GUEST by RACHEL BROMWICH, M.A., D.Litt. For thee, of English birth but British heart, Our bardic harp neglected and unstrung Moved to the soul, and at thy touch there start Old harmonies to life: our ancient tongue Opens, its buried treasure to impart. Rowland Williams (Goronva Camlan) circa 1850. Today we regard the 'Mabinogion' as the foremost Welsh prose classic of the Middle Ages. But this is very far from having been the case in the past; indeed it would seem that up till the end of the eighteenth century these tales were little known, at any rate in the final literary form in which we now have them. Consider the relatively small number of medieval manuscripts of these tales the White Book of Rhydderch and the Red Book of Hergest, fragments in Peniarth MSS 6 and 7, 14 and 16, Jesus MS 20, and some later copies of these in comparison with the very large number of medieval texts and versions of Brut y Brenhinedd1 and the numerous texts and fragments of Trioedd Ynys Prydaim2 This relative unfamiliarity is borne out by the fact that if we examine the allusions Brynley Roberts gives the number as 60, Brut y Brenhinedd xxiv; Edmund Reiss lists 76 copies, WHR IV, 106. 2 I have examined some 30 MSS containing Trioedd Ynys Prydein. ABBREVIATIONS USED IN FOOTNOTES GDG Thomas Parry, Gwaith Dafydd ap Gwilym (Caerdydd 1952). Ll.C Lien Cymru. NLW National Library of Wales. THSC Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. TYP R. Bromwich, Trioedd Ynys Prydein (Caerdydd 1961). WHR Welsh History Review. YB Ysgrifau Beirniadol.