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Welcome to my corner of the internet. Grab yourself a cup of coffee (or tea), and come with me on a journey into my obsessions and interests. However,...

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April 5, 2017

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Celtic Mythology and The Early Finn Cycle

May 31, 2017

          Today I want to talk to you about two books that have come out or is coming out this month (May). I've ordered both books and I will be reviewing them either on my Celtic Scholar's Reviews and Opinions blog, or on future issues of Air n-Aithesc.


Celtic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes by Philip Freeman


          From Amazon: "Most people have heard of the Celts--the elusive, ancient tribal people who resided in present-day England, Ireland, Scotland and France. Paradoxically characterized as both barbaric and innocent, the Celts appeal to the modern world as a symbol of a bygone era, a world destroyed by the ambition of empire and the spread of Christianity throughout Western Europe. Despite the pervasive cultural and literary influence of the Celts, shockingly little is known of their way of life and beliefs, because very few records of their stories exist. In this book, for the first time, Philip Freeman brings together the best stories of Celtic mythology."


This book came out on on March 1, 2017 through the editor but on Amazon it was released on May 25, 2017. It appears to be a retelling of the Celtic myths in everyday language. So if you are looking for a straight forward Celtic mythology book this is not the book for you.


You can get this book through Amazon.



The Early Finn Cycle by Kevin Murray


          From Amazon: "The Finn (or Fenian) Cycle (fianaigecht) is classified by modern scholarship as one of four medieval Irish literary cycles along with the Ulster Cycle, the Cycle of Historical Tales (or Cycles of the Kings) and the Mythological Cycle. It is primarily composed of material dealing with the legendary character Finn mac Cumaill, his warrior band (fian), his son Oisin, and his grandson Oscar. In a fashion recalling the expansion of the Arthurian legend throughout Britain and Europe, the traditions centered on Finn grew from localized beginnings to spread throughout the entire Gaelic-speaking world. This study takes as its focus the early Finn Cycle, up to and including the composition of the most significant fianaigecht tale, Acallam na senorach ('The colloquy of the ancients'), at the beginning of the Early Modern Irish period. The volume also deals in detail with topics such as the nature of the fian ; the extent of early fragmentary Finn Cycle sources; the background to Toraigheacht Dhiarmada agus Ghrainne ('The pursuit of Diarmaid and Grainne'); the boyhood deeds and death of Finn; and the development of the Fenian lay tradition. The Early Finn Cycle details and investigates the primary and secondary sources for the study of this material and traces the literary development of the early fianaigecht corpus. In so doing, it seeks to account for the emergence of the Finn Cycle from fragmentarily documented beginnings, to become the dominant genre of Gaelic literature after 1200."


This book was supposed to be out today (May 31, 2017) but the publisher is now saying it is coming out in June. I don't have much information on it at this point but it seems to be aimed at people who are interested in the Fianna. 


You can get this book on Amazon.

From the Publisher Four Courts Press





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