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Early Irish Myths and Sagas (Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Anon Anon , Jeffrey Gantz
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

First written down in the eighth century AD, these early Irish stories depict a far older world - part myth, part legend and part history. Rich with magic and achingly beautiful, they speak of a land of heroic battles, intense love and warrior ideals, in which the otherworld is explored and men mingle freely with the gods. From the vivid adventures of the great Celtic hero Cu Chulaind, to the stunning 'Exile of the Sons of Uisliu' - a tale of treachery, honour and romance - these are masterpieces of passion and vitality, and form the foundation for the Irish literary tradition: a mythic legacy that was a powerful influence on the work of Yeats, Synge and Joyce.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gantz received a doctorial degree in Celtic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he works as a newspaper editor and journalist. He has also translated The Mabinogion for Penguin Classics.

Jeffrey Gantz received a doctorial degree in Celtic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he works as a newspaper editor and journalist. He has also translated The Mabinogion for Penguin Classics.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1607 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0140443975
  • Publisher: Penguin; 1 edition (17 Sept. 1981)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI91WG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #192,941 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic From Penguin 9 Oct. 2003
Format:Paperback
Jeffrey Gantz’s translation of The Mabinogion set a standard of excellence that makes it an invaluable tool for those who wish to investigate the Welsh tradition from source texts. Now Gantz has added Early Irish Myths and Sagas to our shelves. This Penguin Classics contains translations of thirteen myths including some of the more common ones such as The Wooing of Étaín and The Boyhood Deeds of Cú Chulaind. I found The Destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel to be excellent. It contains details never found in mere retellings of the tale and this creates a deeper understanding of the archetypal significance of this myth. The Tale of Macc Da Thó’s Pig is wonderful in Gantz's translation. One could spend many months reading, re-reading and pondering this story. The first section of Early Irish Myths and Sagas includes valuable historical data, a bibliography of ancient texts and translations, a guide to the pronunciation of Irish names and words, and a map of ancient Ireland. This is an excellent book and well worth adding to your library.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete and a disappointment 16 Aug. 2013
By Iorras
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would not say that this is a well researched book. It concentrates on the main well known Táin story and is a poor representation of that. It has no mention whatsoever of Flidais, lover of Fergus from Rathmorgan in Erris, Mayo and is therefore a huge disappointment as I purchased it to research that story! It is a poor purchase for it only has commodified stuff of public knowledge within its pages and has not researched the entire sagas at all! It informs the reader not one bit and can only have the consequence of turning the reader off entirely. Flidais and the Táin Bó Flidais is a very important story and there is not a whiff nor a mention of it within the pages of this! This is not a serious historical account at all - it seems to be far more perceived Celtic style ravings for an American reader. It contains little of interest but there are some great books out there on this subject. This is not one of them and I do not recommend this book at all. It's nonsensical and choc a bloc full of spelling and typing errors, contradictions and utter rubbish which make no sense whatsoever because the author does not understand the landscape and the concepts! These stories are difficult to comprehend from the manuscripts but they do make sense to those who know the landscape in which they are set - this book would make you throw in the towel because it is just a heap of incomprehensible Celtic sounding words thrown together! I hate it! Regret wasting my money on ordering it! Look further!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book on Irish myths 12 Nov. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent source on Irish myths - I always appreciate a trustworthy scholar and this is one of those - an original. I wish this man had done more works that help those of us who have studied old Irish simply because of the way in which its a product of class.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Rendition of the Ulster Cycle 7 May 2012
By MLA VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Early Irish Myths and Sagas is a translation by Jeffrey Gantz of much of the Ulster Cycle. In that sense it isn't exactly the earliest of Irish mythos and the stories it tells are part of a tradition long since established. However, Gantz has recounted the words of the chroniclers of the Ulster Cycle to tell a set of tales that speak of those people and their time and place. The tales cover a range of Ulster Cycle heroes including King Conchubar and the seemingly unstoppable hero Cú Chulaind as well as a host of other people of the Ulaid, rival Connachta, and a variety of mortals and faerie folk.

The translation of the Ulster Cycle throughout generally seems strong. The stories are coherent even if much of the rhythm from the verse segments is lost entirely. There is one strange line that appears to be a mis-translation where a suggestion that two of the heroes might fit like children does not fit. Perhaps the translation is of fighting like siblings with an inference of young brothers fighting. With that one exception, the work seems to flow well. The translations appear to be generally drawn from the Lebor na huidre and the Book of Leinster.

Gantz provides good notes and summaries in his work - something all too often forgotten by compilers of ancient epic translations. Gantz provides good context up front in the form of a lengthy introduction. This introduction sets the historical scene as well as the literature context. Gantz provides an introduction to the themes and concepts the various tales tell. Ahead of each individual tale in the cycle, Gantz offers a brief and very welcome introduction. His introductions help to explain what is to come and make understanding of the stories themselves much easier.
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