The title Mabinogi refers to the first four stories in this collection of tales from Welsh tradition. They are best known as the "Four Branches of the Mabinogi," and comprise the tales of Pwyll, Branwen, Manawydan, and Math. The remaining stories also spring from the same tree, and together they form a collection that comprises the core of the ancient Welsh mythological cycle. They are also among the best the medieval Celtic literature has to offer. [via]
In the first thoroughly revised edition and translation of this world classic since Lady Charlotte Guest's famous Mabinogion went out of print, Mr. Ford has endeavored to present a scholarly document in readable, modern English. Basing his criteria on the latest scholarship in myth, he includes only those stories that have remained unadulterated by the influence of the French Arthurian romances. These are, in addition to the "Four Branches," the tale of "Kulhwch and Olwen," which is rooted in the mythological origins of Arthur, seen here in his role of divine hunter in pursuit of the swine-god; "Lludd and Lleuelis," which reaches beyond its immediate Celtic sources into ancient Indo-European ideologies; and the long unavailable "Tale of Taliesin," which offers insights into Celtic concepts of the archetypal poet-seer and the acquisition of Divine Wisdom.