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click here.Kindled for Free: The socialite sister of Celticist Whitley-Stokes goes to France for a educated sightseeing holiday and takes us with her. Parts of this book were as good as Stephen's Madoc, but it is a very mixed up. There are detailed descriptions of saints lives, together with the author's visits to lots of little villages in Northern France, her descriptions of local customs and local folklore, and comparisons with Ireland, along with her own translation of Fís Adámnan in the last AppendixKindled for Free: The socialite sister of Celticist Whitley-Stokes goes to France for a educated sightseeing holiday and takes us with her. Parts of this book were as good as Stephen's Madoc, but it is a very mixed up. There are detailed descriptions of saints lives, together with the author's visits to lots of little villages in Northern France, her descriptions of local customs and local folklore, and comparisons with Ireland, along with her own translation of Fís Adámnan in the last Appendix at the end. Some of the book's very useful (e.g. her comparisons of "Le Bossu de Foutenois" and "Lusmore" two tales, one Irish one French, both of which have as their main theme fairies singing the days of the week, and a hero adding to them.), but most of it is just very boring. Stick with the letters and you'll be fine though. Luckily now it's all indexed on Kindle I can just search if I need to know about St Furza, and don't need to pay attention to what she's talking about, which stopped this book being entirely unreadable. I should also caution that although she sometimes translates her Latin, she never bothers with French or Irish or later Italian, so be ready for that.
#1 The greatest fieldwork ever done in Celtic studies: "I asked the boy where lay the "Fontaine de St. Desle," he pointed across the water. We hired a man in a flat-bottomed boat, who paddled us out on the lake, past a tiny island, and then stopped in the middle of a sheet of water, "Voilla la Fontaine," said the boatman. I looked round in every direction, along the banks and into the wood, but I could see no sign of well, rock or stone among the ferns, and moss, and tangled grass. "Mais, c'est ici! C'est la dessous!" He cried impatiently; and then I looked again and saw that his oar was pointing, not to one side or other, but downwards, and looking into the clear depths below I saw, not a submerged church as they say in Lough Neagh, but a submerged holy well! The great grey rugged rock from whose cleft side the waters had so freely flowed that they grew into a lake which seemed to shield rather than to hide beneath it's glassy surface. A crystal shrine indeed, and framed in borders of emerald green enamelled with wild flowers."
#2 Her opinion of people who smooth ancient graffiti/inscriptions on church walls: The ideal of such restorers of ancient buildings reminds me of the modern photographers practice of touching up our portraits. Such men would take the rugged face of a Darwin, or the worn face of a Newman, and smooth away ever line carved thereon by sad experience and by time.
#3 On the knowledge of the Irish literati of Greek: "M. D'Arbois de Jubainville, referring to this MS., says: 'What surprises us most about these Irish emigrants on the continent in the ninth century, is that they knew Greek, and that they appear to have been the only people then in Western Europe who did know it. They have Greeco-Latin glossaries, Greek grammars, the books of the Bible in Greek accompanied by Latin translations ; one of them, Johannes Scotus Erigena, has translated the apocryphal works of Dionysius the Areopagite from Greek into Latin. He was a disciple of Plato, whose Timseus he appears to have read in the original text; and he has founded a system of philosophy, as astounding for its time as its dangerous for its temerity, on the doctrines of this celebrated Greek writer...'"...more