The Chronicles of Prydain
|The Book of Three|
The Black Cauldron
The Castle of Llyr
The High King
|Illustrator||Evaline Ness (maps)|
|Cover artist||Jean-León Huens|
|Genre||High fantasy, Children's literature|
|Publisher||Holt, Rinehart and Winston|
|No. of books||5|
|Followed by||The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain (1973)|
The Chronicles of Prydain is a pentalogy of children's high fantasy Bildungsroman novels written by American author Lloyd Alexander. Henry Holt published one annually from 1964 to 1968; the second earned a 1966 Newbery Honor and the last won the 1969 Newbery Medal.
The five novels follow the protagonist Taran from youth to maturity, most overtly in the fourth book, Taran Wanderer. Taran has the title Assistant Pig-Keeper at Caer Dallben but initially dreams of being a grand hero. His most important companions in adventure are Princess Eilonwy, a girl his age; Fflewddur Fflam, a wandering bard and minor king; Gurgi, a wild man-beast; and Doli, a dwarf.
- 1 Inspiration and development
- 2 Setting
- 3 Reception
- 4 Characters
- 5 Prydain publications
- 6 Adaptations
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Inspiration and development
Thematically the novels draw upon Welsh mythology, particularly the Mabinogion. The novels are not, however, retellings of those myths, a point Alexander himself makes in an author's note for The Book of Three: stories have been conflated, and characters have been changed in both role and motive, so a student of Welsh culture should be prepared as Arawn becomes the books' dark arch enemy and Gwydion's negative traits are replaced with unclouded heroism.
Appropriately, the author's note also reveals the geography is ultimately derived from Wales, though Alexander notes that Prydain is separate from Wales both in physical geography and history.
"Always interested in mythology", Alexander received army combat intelligence training in Wales during World War II. That exposed him to its castles, scenery, and language, which became "part of the raw material for the Prydain books". Originally he "planned to write one or two – three at the very most".
At one point[clarification needed] he planned a trilogy with titles The Battle of the Trees, The Lion with the Steady Hand, and Little Gwion. In Welsh mythology the former features the sons of Don led by Gwydion against the forces of Arawn, and the legend of Gwion concerns the bard Taliesin as a boy. Later, a four-volume series would conclude with The High King. The editor felt that something was missing between third and fourth volumes, so Taran Wanderer was written one month after The Castle of Llyr was published, making it a five-volume series.
The stories that are now collected in The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain actually were published in three different volumes: two picture books and one short story collection. Most of these act as backstories which fill in gaps for minor characters, but others are just short stories that stand apart from the books.
Prydain's geography, culture, and names are based on ancient Wales, especially the tales of the Mabinogion. Prydain is a magical land that lives under threat from Arawn, the Dark Lord of Annuvin, the Land of Death.
Once ruled over by the evil Queen Achren, Prydain was liberated by the Sons of Don, who established a new kingdom at Caer Dathyl. The High King rules over all the land, seconded by his war leader, with many subject kings ruling the various territories of Prydain, called cantrevs. Only the Free Commots, a collection of villages that answer only to the High King, are outside any subject king's jurisdiction.
Significant locations in Prydain include Caer Dallben, the farm homestead of the enchanter Dallben; Caer Colur, the ancestral home of the House of Llyr; Spiral Castle, Achren's fortress; Annuvin, the fortress of Arawn Death-Lord; and the Marshes of Morva, a haunted swamp that is home to the witches Orddu, Orwen and Orgoch.
Underneath and within Prydain is the kingdom of the Fair Folk, a diminutive supernatural race that mostly keeps to its own affairs. The Fair Folk have no love for the Death-Lord Arawn, however; and they occasionally aid the humans of Prydain against him.
In addition to the races of men and Fair Folk, Prydain is home to the Sons of Don and their descendants (who are ostensibly related to the gods of Welsh mythology, though this is never overtly stated in the series). Other varieties of creatures such as the undead Cauldron-Born, the monstrous birdlike Gwythaints, and oddities such as the furry, human-like Gurgi (whose race is undetermined) also inhabit Prydain.
Having garnered a Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor, Prydain is widely recognized as a valuable contribution to children's literature. Decades after their publication The Chronicles of Prydain hold their own in sales and readership and may be comparable to children's fantasy series such as The Chronicles of Narnia.
Ruth Hill Viguers wrote in the 1969 Critical History of Children's Literature, "Like most good fantasies, the books are related to humanity; the characters have failings but also the potential for greatness."
In 2012, The Book of Three was ranked number 18 and The High King 68th among all-time best children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal, a monthly with primarily U.S. audience.
Characters are grouped first by the one of five Chronicles where they first appear, then by appearance in short stories only. According to Alexander, nearly all of the proper names in Prydain are from Welsh myth or history, perhaps all except Eilonwy and Taran.
The Book of Three
- A young man who grows from early adolescence to an adult over the course of the series and lives with the enchanter Dallben and the aged warrior Coll. He is charged with taking care of the oracular pig Hen Wen and throughout the series is known under the title of Assistant Pig-Keeper. The series follows his coming-of-age journey.
- Princess Eilonwy
- Eilonwy is a friend and later the love interest of Taran. When she is being formal, she calls herself "Princess Eilonwy, daughter of Angharad, daughter of Regat of the Royal House of Llyr" in reference to her mother and grandmother respectively. Her father, Geraint, was a commoner. The women in her line are formidable enchantresses. She has inherited this characteristic, most readily visible in her manipulation of a magical item she calls her bauble, a small golden sphere that can glow with magical light when activated by her willpower. Eilonwy is described as having red-gold hair and bright blue eyes. She is very smart, witty and sarcastic, but at the same time quirky and scatterbrained. Her speech mannerisms are very distinctive: she often employs unusual similes and metaphors. She has a preference for going barefoot (The Castle of Llyr), and when she has to wear shoes, they are usually sandals (The Book of Three).
- Fflewddur Fflam
- Fflewddur Fflam, son of Godo, is a cantrev lord of Prydain. He is referred to as a king, but it is made clear that he is a very minor king of a tiny kingdom at best, much less important than the High King who rules Prydain. As a result, he often leaves it to go wandering as an unofficial bard. Though he returns from time to time to rule, he once mentions that he gets the feeling that the people of his country get along just fine even if he's not there. Though he is sometimes prone to boasting, he carries an enchanted harp, which keeps him relatively honest; the strings of the harp will break whenever he tells a lie.
- Gurgi is described as being some sort of cross between man and beast, having long arms, covered with fur and leaves, and ever hungry. His manner of speech is filled with rhymed pairs of words ("crunchings and munchings", "Smackings and Wackings", "sneakings and peekings"), and redundant phrases ("see with lookings!"); he refers to himself in the third person. Gurgi is humble and loyal toward his human companions, at first submitting even to Taran as a "noble lord". In the course of the Chronicles, he plays a highly important role by accidentally finding hidden items which ultimately occupy a vital keyrole in the storyline.
- Doli is one of the Fair Folk, a nation of faeries, and other magical beings who live in an extensive underground kingdom that spans the entire country of Prydain. Doli is described as a short, stocky dwarf who carries a number of weapons including a battleaxe. He is adept in many skills including hunting, fighting, and stealth. When first met, he is described as the only one of his kin who doesn't have the power to turn himself invisible. After aiding Taran's companions and the House of Don, he is rewarded by Gwydion with this ability, although each time he uses it, it creates an uncomfortable sensation inside his ears.
- Hen Wen
- Hen Wen is a white sow. She is an oracular pig with the ability to prophesy about future events and reveal hidden information. Originally she belonged to Coll, but most of her maintenance was delegated to Taran when he received the title of Assistant Pig-Keeper in The Book of Three.
- Dallben is described as an ancient man with a long white beard. He lives on the farm known as Caer Dallben, where he acts as protector of Coll's oracular pig, Hen Wen. He also is the guardian and mentor of Taran, the protagonist of the Prydain Chronicles. When first introduced in The Book of Three, he was already 379 years old. Besides the lessons he teaches Taran and protecting the oracular pig Hen Wen, Dallben's main activity on the farm is meditating. Those who know him recognize him as the most powerful enchanter in Prydain, and while his displays of power are quite potent they are used sparingly.
- Gwydion, son of Don, the High Prince of Prydain and companion of Taran on many adventures. He often leads the forces of Don against the forces of Annuvin.
- Coll occupies his time with farming, though prior to that he was a warrior. He was the original owner of the oracular pig Hen Wen, established the farm that became known as Caer Dallben when the enchanter Dallben took up residence there, and served as a guardian to Taran. His personality is rather amiable and modest, and in appearance he is short and burly. But his most striking feature is his bald head, which blushes whenever he is happy about something
- The Horned King
- The Horned King is Arawn's champion and the War Leader of Annuvin. He is described as a huge man wearing armor (except for his arms, which are naked and stained crimson), a red cape and an antlered skull mask. The antlers are presumably where he gets his name.
- Math, Son of Mathonwy
- Math is the High King of Prydain. He rules above all lesser kings in Prydain. Math is patriarch of the Royal House of Don, comprising descendants of the Lady Don and her consort, Belin, the Sun king. Math rules with a just hand, and through his leadership Arawn, Death-Lord is at least partly held in check. He dwells in the stronghold Caer Dathyl, north of the Eagle Mountains. Hie dies during the fall of the castle in The High King.
- King Eiddileg
- Eiddileg is the grumpy and reclusive leader of the Fair Folk who nevertheless aids Taran and his allies in numerous battles against the forces of Annuvin.
- Arawn Death-Lord
- Also known as the Death-Lord, the War-Leader and Lord Arawn, Arawn is the main antagonist of the series. Arawn was once a mortal man with magical powers, one of which was to change his shape, who was tutored by the evil Queen Achren, ruler of Prydain. When Achren was overthrown, Arawn, who had grown very powerful, took the Iron Crown of Annuvin and became its king. Achren became a servant beneath him but always plotted his downfall. He later came into possession of the Black Cauldron with which he created a powerful undead army known as the Cauldron-Born. He then attempted to conquer Prydain, the fictional country where the events of the story take place. He was thwarted in this endeavour by the Sons of Don, a race of warriors from the Summer Country who stood between him and world domination ever since.
- Achren is the former Queen of Prydain, who ruled many years as a harsh and vengeful tyrant, both as ruler and then as the Death-lord Arawn's consort. She originally ruled from her citadel in Annuvin, near Mount Dragon, and later moved to the fastness of Spiral Castle after Arawn gained power. She secretly despises the Death-lord, who stole from her the crown of Annuvin. She is also taken with Gwydion; even though he does not reciprocate her feelings, she remains largely loyal to him after losing her powers. While going her own way to avenge herself on Arawn in The High King, she ends up giving vital aid to Taran's companions in the latter part of their campaign against Annuvin. While saving Taran's life from Arawn, who has transformed himself into a poisonous snake, she is killed by his venomous bite.
- Medwyn is a protector of animals, similar to the Biblical Noah. He lives in a secret valley in the mountains of Prydain that no human can find.
- The Cauldron-Born
- An army of undead soldiers, once mortal men until their corpses are boiled within the Black Crochan, a large magical cauldron. They are practically unkillable, with their only weakness being that their strength depends on their proximity to Annuvin, which ebbs as the distance increases.
- The Gwythaints
- A race of once-gentle large birds captured and perverted by Arawn to become his eyes and claws in the skies of Prydain.
The Black Cauldron
- King Smoit
- Smoit is the boisterous lord of Cantev Cadiffor and the only lord among the Southern Cantevs to remain loyal to the High King. He is brash, hot-blooded, and loud, but also brave, honorable, and well aware of his faults. Though he may not initially listen to wise counsel, he will take it to heart when he finally does.
- King Morgant
- Morgant is the ruler of the kingdom of Madoc. A former firm friend of Gwydion and ally of the House of Don, he becomes a traitor when the power of the Black Cauldron lures him. While he manages to capture Taran and his friends, his plans are thwarted by Prince Ellidyr's sacrifice and by Gwydion himself; and he is slain in battle by King Smoit.
- Kaw is a crow and was originally the pet of Gwystyl, a Fair Folk officer. He is subsequently given to the series' hero, Taran. Kaw can talk, although only in one-word sentences, and his role in the story is to give information, to spy out the land while flying and sometimes to retrieve lost objects from difficult places. He has a mischievous temperament, often playing tricks on his human friends and talking more freely than he should.
- Ellidyr is described as a prince, the son of a king who had nothing left to leave his son but "his name and his sword." He is deeply sensitive about his poverty, and covers this with arrogance, treating all whom he does not see as social equals with disdain and contempt. Adaon, with the aid of a magic talisman, sees this as a "black beast," sitting on Ellidyr's shoulders and tormenting him. At the end of the story, however, after realizing his follies, Ellidyr willingly sacrifices his own life to destroy the Black Crochan.
- Gwystyl is one of the Fair Folk. He is described as resembling "a bundle of sticks with cobwebs floating at the top." He appears sickly, with sparse, long and stringy hair; he constantly complains and snivels, and appears cowardly and a pessimist. However, he is actually very shrewd and an excellent observer who enjoys the trust of King Eiddileg. Gwystyl lives in a hidden underground waypost near the border of Annuvin. He has a pet crow, named Kaw, whom he later passes to Taran.
- Orddu, Orwen and Orgoch
- Orddu, Orwen and Orgoch are three witches who live alone in the Marshes of Morva. Although their identities are apparently fluid and interchangeable, each persona has a distinctive appearance: Orwen wears a necklace of milky stones, Orddu's hair is adorned with many ornaments, and Orgoch's face is shadowed by a black cowl. They were the original owners of the Black Cauldron and lent it to Arawn, who used it to create zombie-like warriors, the Cauldron-Born. They trade information and advice to anyone who is brave enough to enter their domain, though they nearly always ask for a magical price for their help.
- Adaon is featured solely in the second book, The Black Cauldron, although he is mentioned in the third and fifth books. He is the son of the Chief Bard Taliesin. He is a gifted minstrel, a strong-hearted warrior, and a capable healer. His most precious possessions are his packets of healing herbs; his bay mare Lluagor; and a distinctive brooch which was a gift from Arianllyn, his betrothed, and has the power to bestow prothetic dreams. He dies in combat against a group of Annuvin Huntsmen.
- The Huntsmen of Annuvin
- A band of wild, merciless fighters who serve as officers and trackers in Arawn's army. Each of them is branded with the mark of Annuvin on their foreheads, and they are notorious for their endurance, tenacity and bloodthirst. When one of them is slain, his strength is magically transferred to his nearby comrades, making each of them stronger even as their numbers dwindle.
The Castle of Llyr
- Prince Rhun
- Prince Rhun is the only son of King Rhuddlum and Queen Teleria, who rule over the Isle of Mona. By birthright, he is the heir apparent to the throne, but is - despite his genuine charity and cheerfulness - clumsy and accident-prone, thus requiring a lot of maturing. He is first introduced in The Castle of Llyr when the Princess Eilonwy is sent by the enchanter Dallben to live at the castle and gain a "proper" upbringing. After his father dies during the course of Taran Wanderer, he succeeds him as King of Mona, but loses his life while aiding his friends in The High King.
- Magg (or Chief Steward Magg) is a reasonably respected man on the Isle of Mona. However, he is also quite vain and power-hungry, and a traitor concerned only with his own comfort and glory. As the stories progress, he becomes more and more obsessed with obtaining power and even descends into madness. After entering service with Arawn, he dies in The High King when in the end he claims the Crown of Annuvin for himself, only to be scorched to death by it.
- Llyan is a large female cat, roughly larger than a horse, with orange fur. Her unusual size came about when Glew used her as a guinea pig for his experimental growth potion. Taran, Gurgi, Fflewddur Fflam and Prince Rhun encounter her in Glew's old cottage on the Isle of Mona, where she prepares to devour them. After being enchanted by Fflewddur's music, however, she becomes enarmored with the bard and henceforth serves him as a steed.
- Glew was formerly a very small man. In his younger days he tried unsuccessfully to enter a number of careers, including slaying dragons or being a wandering bard. He found none of them to his liking, mostly due to his own sniveling disposition. Finally, he decided the only answer was to turn to sorcery, and he created a potion which made him a giant. However, he first tested it on a wildcat named Llyan, who chased him out of his hut and into a cave, where he trapped himself after desperately swallowing his potion. Though he is rescued from his own mishap by Taran, Prince Rhun, Fflewdur and Gurgi, he keeps ranting about his days as a giant. However, he unknowingly contributes a vital role to the events in The High King, and after redeeming himself, he is allowed to accompany the Sons of Don to the Summer Country.
- King Rhuddlum
- Rhun's father. He is confirmed to have died during the events of Taran Wanderer.
- Queen Teleria
- Rhun's mother. Has a habit of interrupting herself mid-sentence to add a thought that's just popped into her mind, then finishing her original one. Is said to talk almost as much as Eilonwy does.
- A farmer who shelters Taran while he is searching for his parents.
- Lord Goryon and Lord Gast
- Vassals of King Smoit and bitter rivals. Goryon fancies himself as the most heroic man alive, while Gast believes himself to be the most gracious host of all; but all their boasting is nothing but a facade for them to bask in their own narcissism.
- An evil sorcerer who wishes to attain ultimate power.
- A treacherous, greedy bandit. He reappears in The High King, where his band captures Eilonwy and Gurgi after they are separated from the others; but he and all his men are slain by a pack of wolves sent by Medwyn to aid Taran's allies against Arawn.
- A bandit of Dorath's band and his inofficial second-in-command.
- An old shepherd who claims to be Taran's father.
- Llonio, Son of Llonwen, is a gatherer. Unusually lucky, he and his family spend their day waiting for whatever is coming their way, and making the best use of it, sometimes with astonishing results. He answers Taran's call of arms in The High King, but dies during the battle of Caer Dathyl.
- Annlaw Clay-Shaper
- An expert potter from Commot Merin, under whom Taran learns to be a potter and whom Taran considers the wisest of his Commot teachers. He is slain by bandits raiding the Commot in The High King.
- Hevydd the Smith
- An expert metalsmith, under whom Taran learns to forge a sword.
- Dwyvach the Weaver-Woman
- An expert weaver, under whom Taran learns to weave.
- Son of Pebyr, and a struggling farmer.
- Son of Drudwas. Young and enthusiastic to prove himself as a man, he is a mirror image of Taran in his own younger years. His knowledge of mountaincraft proves vital in The High King, where he serves as a guide during the journey through the mountains of Annuvin.
The High King
- King Pryderi
- Son of Pwyll and King of the Western Realms. Originally loyal to the House of Don, he switches allegiance to Arawn in the misguided belief that only the Death-Lord can bring order to Prydain. After attacking and assisting in the fall of Caer Dathyl, he is sent to Caer Dallben to assassinate Dallben and retrieve the Book of Three for his master, but is slain by the enchanted tome.
- The chief bard of Prydain and Adaon's father.
The Chronicles of Prydain
- The Book of Three (1964)
- Taran and companions race to defeat an army raised by the Horned King, a warlord of Arawn Death-Lord.
- The Black Cauldron (1965) — a 1966 Newbery Honor book
- Taran and companions struggle to capture a magical cauldron that generates Arawn's zombie army, known as the "Cauldron-Born".
- The Castle of Llyr (1966)
- Taran escorts Eilonwy to a royal court for her education. There she is kidnapped and he leads a band to rescue her.
- Taran Wanderer (1967)
- Taran searches for his identity, nominally his parentage, among the cantrevs and commots of Prydain
- The High King (1968) — winner of the 1969 Newbery Medal
- Taran and companions join Prydain's great effort to defeat Arawn once and for all.
Alexander published eight Prydain short stories, all set before the events of the five novels.
Coll and His White Pig (1965) and The Truthful Harp (1967) are 32-page picture books illustrated by Evaline Ness. They feature as younger adults two of Taran's human companions in The Chronicles, Coll son of Collfrewr and Fflewddur Fflam.
A 1973 collection, The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain comprises six new stories of the same length, illustrated by Margot Zemach, and the High King map by Ness. It was dedicated to "Friends of Prydain, who promised to read more if I would write more". The author cited "many readers of all ages" and explained that "popular demand makes a splendid pretext" for return to Prydain but not for covering the same ground. All six stories explore prehistory, "before the birth of Taran Assistant Pig-Keeper", at least fifteen years before the novels.
In 1999, Holt published an expanded edition of The Foundling collecting all eight stories (text only), the High King map, and a new "Prydain Pronunciation Guide" with entries for 49 proper names.
Contents of The Foundling, expanded edition
- Author's Note (1973)[a]
- Map (copyright 1968, Evaline Ness)
- The Foundling
- The Stone
- The True Enchanter
- The Rascal Crow
- The Sword
- The Smith, the Weaver, and the Harper
- Coll and his White Pig
- The Truthful Harp
- Prydain Pronunciation Guide (1999)
- About the Author (1973)[b]
The Pronunciation Guide is also included in 1999 and later editions of the five novels.
The Prydain Chronicles (1991, Guild America Books; Science Fiction Book Club)[clarification needed] comprises the five novels and the six later short stories. That is, all Prydain fiction except the two picture-book stories. Each novel includes a map by Evaline Ness (original illustrator of the picture books and covers of the novels) and each story includes the illustrations by Margot Zemach for the original Foundling and Other Tales.
In 1989, Greenwood Publishing Group published The Prydain Companion: A Reference Guide to Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles by children's literature scholar Michael O. Tunnell. Henry Holt, the original publisher of the Prydain books, republished The Prydain Companion in 2003. The book's title is a reference to the fact that the Chronicles' narration often refers to any present combination of the main characters as "the companions." The Prydain Companion includes a biographical sketch of Alexander and two sections by Alexander, the "Foreword" and "How to Use the Companion". Entries cover major characters, locations, and so on, with insight gained by Tunnell's interviews with Alexander as well as research into the Mabinogion and The White Goddess. One marketing capsule is "An informative resource for formal studies of the Prydain Chronicles, as well as an excellent opportunity to delve into the fantastic workings of Prydain."
Walt Disney Productions released a Prydain animated film in 1985. The Black Cauldron is based primarily on the first two novels with elements from the others. It cost $44 million and was poorly received by audiences, failing to recoup the investment. Critics found the film "pretty, but confusing and overly somber" due to its dark nature and disjointed script, though Roger Ebert gave it a positive review. Production delays and embarrassing box-office returns nearly bankrupted the Disney animation studio department. In retrospect, then-newly appointed studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg was dismayed by the product, and the animators felt that it lacked "the humor, pathos, and the fantasy which had been so strong in Lloyd Alexander's work. The story had been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it was heartbreaking to see such wonderful material wasted."
Of the film, Lloyd Alexander remarked: "First, I have to say, there is no resemblance between the movie and the book. Having said that, the movie in itself, purely as a movie, I found to be very enjoyable."
On March 17, 2016, Variety confirmed that Walt Disney Pictures had re-acquired the film rights to The Chronicles of Prydain, with the intention to adapt the book series into an epic motion picture series, more attuned to Lloyd Alexander's high fantasy world. The project is currently in early development at the Walt Disney Studios with no director, producer, or screenwriter attached yet.
Early in the 2000s, Listening Library (Random House) produced an unabridged reading by James Langton of the five main volumes, with author's notes read by Lloyd Alexander himself. The audiobooks were published on compact audio cassette and compact disc, and were also released for download from 2004 to 2005. In May 2017, an audiobook adaptation of The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain was released in a digital format. This edition was also read by James Langton.
- Expanded edition, title leaf: lists copyrights 1965, 1967, 1973 Lloyd Alexander; 1999 copyrights only Henry Holt, compilation and pronunciation guide. Inspection supports the implication that dedication and author's note date from 1973.
- Expanded edition, About the author: This short two-page sketch ends at Alexander following The Chronicles with the first Foundling collection in 1973.
Prydain series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2011-12-29. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
Some contents details have been ascertained by examination.
- "Newbery Medal & Honor Books, 1922–Present". Association for Library Service to Children. American Library Association. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Alexander, Lloyd (1999). "Author's note". Taran Wanderer. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-6134-7
- Alexander, Lloyd (1999). "Author's note". The Book of Three. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-6132-0
- Lloyd Alexander Interview Transcript Archived 2011-10-03 at the Wayback Machine. (1999). Interview with Scholastic students. Scholastic Inc. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
- About the author (1973). The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain, Henry Holt and Company, first edition, page .
- Lloyd Alexander: A Bio-Bibliography by Jacobs and Tunnel[clarification needed]
- Viguers, Ruth Hill (1969). Cornelia Meigs, ed. A Critical History of Children's Literature. Macmillan US. p. 462. ISBN 0-02-583900-4.
- Bird, Elizabeth (July 7, 2012). "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results". A Fuse #8 Production. Blog. School Library Journal (blog.schoollibraryjournal.com). Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- Alexander, Lloyd. The Book of Three
- Alexander, Lloyd (1964). The Book of Three.
- Alexander, Lloyd (1965). The Black Cauldron.
- Tunnell, Michael O. The Prydain Companion: A Reference Guide to Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1989. The name "Madoc" or "Madawc" is associated with several characters in the Mabinogion. However, in a personal interview with Tunnell, Lloyd Alexander stated that in his novels, the name is merely a place name for Morgant's kingdom.
- Alexander, Lloyd, The Black Cauldron, Holt, 1965. p 53
- Coll and his white pig (catalog report). MinuteMan Library Network. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- The truthful harp (catalog report). MinuteMan Library Network. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- Expanded edition, Dedication (original).
- Expanded edition, Author's Note (original).
- Alexander, Lloyd (1999). The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain. Revised and expanded edition. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-6130-4.
- Expanded edition (1999).
- Expanded edition, title leaf.
- The Prydain Chronicles (1991 omnibus) publication contents at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- "The Prydain Companion ..." (retail product display). Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
- Ebert, Roger (July 24, 1985). "The Black Cauldron Movie Review (1985)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
- Johnston, Ollie; Frank Thomas (1993). The Disney Villain. New York: Hyperion Books. p. 173. ISBN 1-56282-792-8
- McNary, Dave (March 17, 2016). "'Chronicles of Prydain' Movie in the Works at Disney". Variety. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
- prydain (search report). Random House Audio. Retrieved 2011-12-16.