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Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland
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Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Fianna of Ireland

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  305 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
First published in 1904, Lady Gregory collected the stories from many original sources, and in translating them from the early Irish, she created a unified group of tales that made a greater impact on people's appreciation of the wealth and strength of Irish mythology than any other similar work.
Paperback, Coole Edition of Lady Gregory's Works; V. 3, 370 pages
Published December 1st 1987 by Colin Smythe (first published 1902)
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Barnaby Thieme
Feb 07, 2013 Barnaby Thieme rated it really liked it
"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
Colleen Lynch
Apr 06, 2011 Colleen Lynch rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 17, 2012 A. Mary rated it it was amazing
Shelves: irish-myth
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.
Joseph Jaquinta
Apr 03, 2016 Joseph Jaquinta rated it liked it
This books was instrumental in understanding the popular culture view of ancient Irish legends. People in Ireland are more likely to have ready Lady Gregory's version than more scholarly ones.
I did get the strong impression reading these that this was something quite different from normal Western Culture fairy tales. Mostly because the tales did not follow an expected "normal" narrative path, and that "fairly tale logic" did not apply.
For example, one long tale about the "Hard Servant", who tric
Apr 23, 2014 Mordi rated it it was ok
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
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
David Corbett
Apr 28, 2015 David Corbett rated it it was amazing
Blame my fascination with this mythology on Game of Thrones. I downloaded this book off the Internet and have been having a grand old time just working through it slowly. The stories, which range from the account of how the Tuatha de Danaan came to inhabit Ireland to the classic tales of Finn McCumhal and the Fianna, are rowdy, blustering, bawdy, mysterious, tragic accounts of how the old magic served and betrayed the fabled folk who once inhabited the Emerald Isle. Utterly addictive.
This set of Irish tales reminded me of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Barely organized; mostly miscellaneous. Several seemed to cover the same ground over and over to feel repetitive.

Some things seemed out of place like mentions of God or the Greeks. Pretty sure these are stories about events prior to Christianity came to Ireland. And the Greek presence seems even less likely.

Apparently the favorite animal to change someone into or hunt are pigs. They show up in several stories. Others like deer or hound
Jan 03, 2016 Mathieu rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, ireland
LE livre par lequel je suis entré dans les légendes irlandaises, réécrites par nulle autre que Lady Gregory elle-même. Un classique.
Eoin Coleman
Sep 27, 2013 Eoin Coleman rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 13, 2014 Emma marked it as to-read
Shelves: research-faeries
Available legally and free at Project Gutenberg:
Feb 02, 2012 Robert rated it liked it
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.
Feb 23, 2014 Betty rated it liked it
The stories themselves were very enjoyable.
Dec 11, 2011 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, fantasy
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
Only a few pages in, but I love her beautiful use of language.
Alexandra Howells
Nov 25, 2012 Alexandra Howells rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythology
A delightful translation of the Ancient Irish myths.
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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.
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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.” 22 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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