6th out of 59 books — 37 voters
Treasury of Irish Myth, Legend & Folklore
Two milestones of folklore by giants of the Irish Renaissance: Yeats's anthology of magical Irish tales and Lady Gregory's retelling of the myth of Ireland's national hero. B&W illus.
Hardcover, 704 pages
Published May 11th 1988 by Gramercy
(first published May 11th 1986)
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Not long after beginning to read Joseph Campbell’s works on comparative mythologies I moved to Northern Ireland to study Irish literature and theatre. I’ve been a tremendous fan of Irish mythology since; it’s such a beautiful, ancient culture steeped in rich tradition and imagination. This book is written by famed scholar, poet, and dramatist William Butler Yeats, a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival whose works are heavily influenced by Irish folklore.
I've had this book for years and still haven't been able to finish it. It seems that every time I try to get back to it, something else intervenes, whether it is schoolwork or my job. However, that fact does not detract from the fact that this is an amazing collection of Irish myths and legends, most of which are short enough to read a few at a time and not suffer for not being able to devote an extended amount of time to reading the entire book.
Like 1001 Arabian Nights - this book has some shining examples of beautiful lore, prose, imaginative beauty...but some just sound like each other.... My favorites are those with St Patrick - the blending of Roman Catholicism with the Pagan religions are deceptively beautful and show how easily old traditions were eclipsed.
William Butler Yeats (pronounced /ˈjeɪts/) was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and along with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, se...moreMore about W.B. Yeats...