Celtic Fairy Tales: Fully Illustrated

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Joseph Jacobs was a folklorist, literary critic and historian. His works included contributions to the Jewish Encyclopedia, translations of European works, and critical editions of early English literature. More English Fairy Tales is par More English Fairy Tales is a collection of stories written by Joseph Jacobs, accompanied by the masterful black-and-white illustrations of John D.

For untold generations in countless Irish cottages, in front of peat-fueled fires, some of the gayest, most fanciful, and most sparkling folk tales that ever caused young eyes to grow brighter and young hearts to beat faster have been and still are t He has compiled legends and tales that have entertained the young people of India for more than a thousand years, tales full of suspense, action, ghosts, magic, wicked His fir The captivating Irish stories collected in this new edition include both comic tales such as 'Paddy O'Kelly and the Weasel', and tales of heroes from ancient literature such as 'How Cormac Mac Art went to Faery'.

By turns funny, fantastical and myste Designed for school districts, educators, and students seeking to maximize performance on standardized tests, Webster's paperbacks take advantage of the fact that classics are frequently assigned readings in English courses. By using a running thesau Leading British folklorist selected 20 tales embodying the wonderful humor and heroism of Celtic folklore and compiled them into this one important volume.

Originally published in , the stories are lavishly illustrated by the pen-and-ink drawings This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available a Over a century ago, Joseph Jacobs began collecting the first known set of English fairy tales.

His first book, English Folk and Fairy Tales, was very well received by the English-speaking world and demand for more such stories led to this volume, Eur I trust I shall be forgiven by Celtic scholars for the changes I have had to make to effect this end. The stories collected in this volume are longer and more detailed than the English ones I brought together last Christmas.

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The romantic ones are certainly more romantic, and the comic ones perhaps more comic, though there may be room for a difference of opinion on this latter point. This superiority of the Celtic folk-tales is due as much to the conditions under which they have been collected, as to any innate superiority of the folk-imagination. The folk-tale in England is in the last stages of exhaustion. The Celtic folk-tales have been collected while the practice of story-telling is still in full vigour, though there are every signs that its term of life is already numbered. The more the reason why they should be collected and put on record while there is yet time.

On the whole, the industry of the collectors of Celtic folk-lore is to be commended, as may be seen from the survey of it I have prefixed to the Notes and References at the end of the volume. Among these, I would call attention to the study of the legend of Beth Gellert, the origin of which, I believe, I have settled. While I have endeavoured to render the language of the tales simple and free from bookish artifice, I have not felt at liberty to retell the tales in the English way. I have not scrupled to retain a Celtic turn of speech, and here and there a Celtic word, which I have not explained within brackets—a practice to be abhorred of all good men.

A few words unknown to the reader only add effectiveness and local colour to a narrative, as Mr. Kipling well knows. One characteristic of the Celtic folk-tale I have endeavoured to represent in my selection, because it is nearly unique at the present day in Europe. Nowhere else is there so large and consistent a body of oral tradition about the national and mythical heroes as amongst the Gaels. Only the byline , or hero-songs of Russia, equal in extent the amount of knowledge about the heroes of the past that still exists among the Gaelic-speaking peasantry of Scotland and Ireland.

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And the Irish tales and ballads have this peculiarity, that some of them have been extant, and can be traced for well nigh a thousand years. I have selected as a specimen of this class the Story of Deirdre, collected among the Scotch peasantry a few years ago, into which I have been able to insert a passage taken from an Irish vellum of the twelfth century. But the story of Finn, as told by the Gaelic peasantry of to-day, deserves a volume by itself, while the adventures of the Ultonian hero, Cuchulain, could easily fill another. I have endeavoured to include in this volume the best and most typical stories told by the chief masters of the Celtic folk-tale, Campbell, Kennedy, Hyde, and Curtin, and to these I have added the best tales scattered elsewhere.

By this means I hope I have put together a volume, containing both the best, and the best known folk-tales of the Celts. I have only been enabled to do this by the courtesy of those who owned the copyright of these stories. Lady Wilde has kindly granted me the use of her effective version of The Horned Women; and I have specially to thank Messrs.

In making my selection, and in all doubtful points of treatment, I have had resource to the wide knowledge of my friend Mr. Alfred Nutt in all branches of Celtic folklore. If this volume does anything to represent to English children the vision and colour, the magic and charm, of the Celtic folk-imagination, this is due in large measure to the care with which Mr. Nutt has watched its inception and progress. With him by my side I could venture into regions where the non-Celt wanders at his own risk.

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Lastly, I have again to rejoice in the co-operation of my friend, Mr. Batten, in giving form to the creations of the folk-fancy. Yet both he and I have striven to give Celtic things as they appear to, and attract, the English mind, rather than attempt the hopeless task of representing them as they are to Celts. The fate of the Celt in the British Empire bids fair to resemble that of the Greeks among the Romans. They went forth to battle, but they always fell, yet the captive Celt has enslaved his captor in the realm of imagination.

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The present volume attempts to begin the pleasant captivity from the earliest years. If it could succeed in giving a common fund of imaginative wealth to the Celtic and the Saxon children of these isles, it might do more for a true union of hearts than all your politics.

One day as he stood by the side of his father on the height of Usna, he saw a maiden clad in strange attire coming towards him. I come from the Plains of the Ever Living, she said, there where there is neither death nor sin.

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There we keep holiday alway, nor need we help from any in our joy. And in all our pleasure we have no strife. And because we have our homes in the round green hills, men call us the Hill Folk. The king and all with him wondered much to hear a voice when they saw no one. For save Connla alone, none saw the Fairy Maiden.

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Then the maiden answered, Connla speaks to a young, fair maid, whom neither death nor old age awaits. I love Connla, and now I call him away to the Plain of Pleasure, Moy Mell, where Boadag is king for aye, nor has there been complaint or sorrow in that land since he has held the kingship. Oh, come with me, Connla of the Fiery Hair, ruddy as the dawn with thy tawny skin. A fairy crown awaits thee to grace thy comely face and royal form.

Come, and never shall thy comeliness fade, nor thy youth, till the last awful day of judgment.


The king in fear at what the maiden said, which he heard though he could not see her, called aloud to his Druid, Coran by name. Oh, Coran of the many spells, he said, and of the cunning magic, I call upon thy aid. A task is upon me too great for all my skill and wit, greater than any laid upon me since I seized the kingship.

A maiden unseen has met us, and by her power would take from me my dear, my comely son. And none heard her voice again, nor could Connla see her longer.

get link For a whole month from that day Connla would take nothing, either to eat or to drink, save only from that apple. But as he ate it grew again and always kept whole. And all the while there grew within him a mighty yearning and longing after the maiden he had seen. But when the last day of the month of waiting came, Connla stood by the side of the king his father on the Plain of Arcomin, and again he saw the maiden come towards him, and again she spoke to him. But now the folk of life, the ever-living ones, beg and bid thee come to Moy Mell, the Plain of Pleasure, for they have learnt to know thee, seeing thee in thy home among thy dear ones.

Then Conn the king observed that since the maiden came Connla his son spoke to none that spake to him.

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So Conn of the hundred fights said to him, Is it to thy mind what the woman says, my son? When the maiden heard this, she answered and said: The ocean is not so strong as the waves of thy longing. Come with me in my curragh, the gleaming, straight-gliding crystal canoe. I see the bright sun sink, yet far as it is, we can reach it before dark.

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There is, too, another land worthy of thy journey, a land joyous to all that seek it. Only wives and maidens dwell there. If thou wilt, we can seek it and live there alone together in joy. When the maiden ceased to speak, Connla of the Fiery Hair rushed away from them and sprang into the curragh, the gleaming, straight-gliding crystal canoe. And then they all, king and court, saw it glide away over the bright sea towards the setting sun.

Away and away, till eye could see it no longer, and Connla and the Fairy Maiden went their way on the sea, and were no more seen, nor did any know where they came. There was the finest rath a little way off from the gable of the house, and he was often in the habit of seating himself on the fine grass bank that was running round it.

One night he stood, half leaning against the gable of the house, and looking up into the sky, and watching the beautiful white moon over his head. After he had been standing that way for a couple of hours, he said to himself: My bitter grief that I am not gone away out of this place altogether. I wish I was the same as you.

Hardly was the word out of his mouth when he heard a great noise coming like the sound of many people running together, and talking, and laughing, and making sport, and the sound went by him like a whirl of wind, and he was listening to it going into the rath.