Théodore Claude Henri, vicomte Hersart de la Villemarqué
|Born||6 July 1815|
|Died||8 December 1895 80) (aged|
Théodore Claude Henri, vicomte Hersart de la Villemarqué (6 July 1815 –8 December 1895) was a Breton philologist and man of letters.
La Villemarqué was born in Quimperlé, Finistère on 6 July 1815. He was descended from an old Breton family, which counted among its members a Hersart who had followed Saint Louis to the Crusades, and another who was a companion in arms of Bertrand du Guesclin. La Villemarqué devoted himself to the elucidation of the monuments of Breton literature. Introduced in 1851 by Jakob Grimm as correspondent to the Academy of Berlin, he became in 1858 a member of the Academy of Inscriptions. He died at Castle Keransker near Quimperlé on 8 December 1895.
His works include: Contes populaires des anciens Bretons (1842), to which was prefixed an essay on the origin of the romances of the Round Table; Essai sur l'histoire de la langue bretonne (1837); Poèmes des bardes bretons du sixième siècle (1850); La Légende celtique en Irlande, en Cambrie et en Bretagne (1859). The popular Breton songs published by him in 1839 as Barzaz Breiz were considerably retouched. La Villemarqué's work has been superseded by the work of later scholars, but he has the merit of having done much to arouse popular interest in his subject.
On the subject of the doubtful authenticity of Barzaz Breiz, see Luzel's Preface to his Chansons populaires de la Basse-Bretagne, and, for a list of works on the subject, the Revue Celtique (vol. V).
Gwenc'hlan is the cognomen of a legendary 6th century Breton druid and bard called Kian, the subject and purported author of a Breton song called "Diougan Gwenc'hlan", published by Hersart de la Villemarqué in his 1839 anthology Barzaz Breiz.
Barzaz Breiz is a collection of Breton popular songs collected by Théodore Hersart de la Villemarqué and published in 1839. It was compiled from oral tradition and preserves traditional folk tales, legends and music. Hersart de la Villemarqué grew up in the manor of Plessix in Nizon, near Pont-Aven, and was half Breton himself.
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Breiz may refer to
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