The Book of the Irish: 7 Must-Read Celtic Myths and Legends
A reading list of some of our favourite books of celtic myths and legends, which we hope helps those of you with an interest to avoid some of the pitfalls of the genre.
The Tain Bo Cuailnge, centre-piece of the eighth-century Ulster cycle of heroic tales, is Ireland's greatest epic. It tells the story of a great cattle-raid, the invasion of Ulster by the armies of Medb and Ailill, queen and king of Connacht, and their allies, seeking to carry off the great Brown Bull of Cuailnge. The hero of the tale is Cuchulainn, the Hound of Ulster, who resists the invaders single-handed while Ulster's warriors lie sick. Thomas Kinsella presents a complete and living version of the story. His translation is based on the partial texts in two medieval manuscripts, with elements from other versions, and adds a group of related stories which prepare for the action of the Tain. Illustrated with brush drawings by Louis le Brocquy, this edition provides a combination of medieval epic and modern art.