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Gods and Fighting Men (Forgotten Books)

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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  13 reviews
"The Gods return to a divine country . . ." In the woods of Slieve Bladhma a boy was reared in secrecy, and taught the skills of the woods and the court. In his travels he met many friends, and many enemies -- above all the magical Aillen, chief of the Sidhe of Beinn Boirche . . . whose defeat might gain the young Finn, the Fair, his rightful place, as a king, a seer, and ...more
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Aegypan (first published 1904)
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Barnaby Thieme
"Gods and Fighting Men" represents Lady Gregory's effort to gather the scattered, disparate tales of the Mythological and Finnian cycles of early Irish lore, and to present them in a more or less coherent format, much as she did with with Ulster cycle in her "Cuchulain of Muirthemne". Unlike that earlier work, however, many of the stories included herein stand on their own, and this book therefore gives the impression of a miscellany rather than an epic.

Gregory's priorities, as is well known, h
...more
Colleen Lynch
This is fantastic mythology. I love ireland and anything irish and despite that, I would have love this book anyway because this type of mythology has amazing aspects and elements I haven't read before. There's something about the irish style of storytelling and stories that have been passed down, something in the history of that place I think should appeal to most readers. There's something fantastical and fantastic about this book and I recommend it to everyone.
A. Mary
Gregory's versions of the myths are written with the music that can be missing from more recent tellings, rather in the same way that the Good News Bible loses the lyricism of the King James. Her arrangements are more demur than Kinsella's, but this is part of their charm.
Mordi
though I have read most of the tales dozens of times over, I had always wanted to read this collection. I was excited to start, but after weeks of scattered reading I finally had to give it up. This is such a disorganized rendering of these tales I just couldn't follow it - and that's saying a lot for someone who *already knows these tales*. I don't know if it was the fact that I was reading it via ereader - as i've found it is much, much harder for me to follow, and retain via an ereader than ...more
Alice
Loved it. I loved finally reading so many of the Irish myths of which I've heard bits and bobs condensed into one volume. Lady Gregory obviously took great care to keep the feeling, the sense, of the stories even as she translated them from the Irish language. Her use of Hiberno-English--or "Kiltarnese," as she called it--made it possible to imagine people sitting by fires, telling and re-telling these stories for thousands of years. The family histories and specific locations that were recounte ...more
Eoin Coleman
This is still my go to book for research on the Mythological Cycles.
While it doesn't have EVERY story, it has so many more than I've found in any other compilation.

Her notes at the end of each book makes it so easy to follow on for more research if you are not satisfied with what she's compiled.

And for anyone who is interested, the final sequences with Oisín and St. Patrick are absolutely brilliant. It summarizes how a lot of people felt about the stories being altered by the Church and I would
...more
Emma
Jan 13, 2014 Emma marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research-faeries
Available legally and free at Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14465
Robert
With some difficulty, I made it through this good foundation on Irish Myth. Being of Irish descent, it seemed a shame to me that I knew little about the mythology of my ancestors. Now, I feel a little better versed, although I feel the book might be due a second read sometime.
Betty
The stories themselves were very enjoyable.
Michael
I enjoyed this book, though the tale of Cuchulain is more interesting. This story shows you the mythological history of Ireland, starting with the arrival of the gods and ending with the return of the last of the Fianna to a christian Ireland.
Dustin Davis
Jan 09, 2012 Dustin Davis marked it as to-read
Only a few pages in, but I love her beautiful use of language.
Alexandra Howells
A delightful translation of the Ancient Irish myths.
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2457847
Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory (15 March 1852 – 22 May 1932), born Isabella Augusta Persse. She was an Irish dramatist and folklorist. With William Butler Yeats and others, she co-founded the Irish Literary Theatre and the Abbey Theatre, and wrote numerous short works for both companies. Lady Gregory produced a number of books retelling stories taken from Irish mythology.
More about Lady Gregory...

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“And my desire,' he said, 'is a desire that is as long as a year; but it is love given to an echo, the spending of grief on a wave, a lonely fight with a shadow, that is what my love and my desire have been to me.” 19 likes
“What is whiter than snow?' he said. 'The truth,' said Grania.

'What is the best colour?' said Finn. 'The colour of childhood,' said she.

'What is hotter than fire?' 'The face of a hospitable man when he sees a stranger coming in, and the house empty.'

'What has a taste more bitter than poison?' 'The reproach of an enemy.'

'What is best for a champion?' 'His doings to be high, and his pride to be low.'

'What is the best of jewels?' 'A knife.'

'What is sharper than a sword?' 'The wit of a woman between two men.'

'What is quicker than the wind?' said Finn then. 'A woman’s mind,' said Grania. And indeed she was telling no lie when she said that.”
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