The Book of Taliesin/We All Have a Story to Tell

The Book of Taliesin (Welsh: Llyfr Taliesin) is one of the most famous of Middle Welsh manuscripts, dating from the first half of the 14th century though many of the fifty-six poems it preserves are taken to originate in the 10th century. The manuscript, known as Peniarth MS 2 and kept at the National Library of Wales, is incomplete, having lost a number of its original leaves including the first. It was named Llyfr Taliessin in the 17th century by Edward Lhuyd and hence is known in English as “The Book of Taliesin”.

The volume contains a collection of some of the oldest poems in Welsh, though many of them, particularly those attributed to the Dark Age poet Taliesin who was active towards the end of the 6th century, would have been composed in the Cumbric dialect of the north.


“When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me.” W. Somerset Maugham, in Of Human Bondage (1915).

“Why can’t people just sit and read books and be nice to each other?”
David Baldacci, The Camel Club (2005).

“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested”.– Francis Bacon Essays (1625), “Of Studies”.

“There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891, preface

“Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be.”– Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (1979),

“There is a great deal of difference between the eager man who wants to read a book, and the tired man who wants a book to read.” – G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens (1906).

“Where one begins by burning books, one will end up burning people.” Heinrich Heine in Almansor.

“Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew each other. Books break the shackles of time, proof that humans can work magic.” – Carl Sagan, Cosmos (1980).


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