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The Banshee: The Irish Death Messenger

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  4 reviews
The banshee, the female supernatural death-messenger, is the legendary herald of death in Ireland. Through analysis of folklore sources, a comprehensive picture of the banshee emerges, and the functions of the belief in this remarkable creature of the folk imagination are examined. Many issues associated with attitudes toward life and death are expressed through the banshe ...more
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Published July 1st 1997 by Roberts Rinehart Publishers (first published January 1st 1996)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  37 ratings  ·  4 reviews


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Narelle Mccoy
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
An excellent resource which covers tradition as well as the changing attitudes towards the banshee's presence. Comprehensive coverage of oral and written sources, folk stories, early writings and recent fieldwork. A must for anyone interested in folklore.
Koyote
Sep 26, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: reference
I read this doing research when it was first out in hardcover. Re-read it in 2004 as part of an ongoing inquiry into the exchange between folk tales and literary fairy tales.
Angela Joyce
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Scholarly work though this is, I couldn't read it after dark!
Padraic
May 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ireland
Basically a romp through the Irish Folklore Commission's binders of oral histories done in the 1930's and 1940's - if it dealt with a banshee, it's in here.

A stray reference in the notes made me realize banshee stories migrated into the coal valleys of Pennsylvania, and survived into the mid-20th century.

In our house growing up in the 1960s, my mother would still refer to anyone towelling off wet hair as "looking like a banshee."

We are civilized about one inch deep.
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