The Early Finn Cycle

Kevin Murray

Catalogue Price: €24.95
ISBN: 978-1-84682-630-6
Catalogue Price: €20.99
ISBN: 978-1-84682-680-1

June 2017. 200pp

“Kevin Murray’s The Early Finn Cycle is ‘aimed in the first place at third-level students’ (p.10) … Murray teases out many of the important issues and presents them in a way which students will find accessible and useful … the scholar who has occasion to work with material from the Finn Cycle will find the volume very useful for its synopsis of the earliest tales and its impressively extensive bibliography covering both old and new work on the Finn Cycle. Murray’s clearly laid out structure and what he himself describes as the book’s ‘proliferation of headings and sub-headings, its abundance of footnotes, and its heavy indexing’ (p.10), are ideal for students and university teachers alike … The book is an aesthetically pleasing one; its cover, incorporating an image of two medieval hunting dogs from a stained glass window, is a strikingly attractive but subtle nod to Finn’s hunting companions Bran and Sceolang.”  Peadar O Muircheartaigh. Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies (Number. Winter 2020)

'The distinction of this very impressive and clarifying book is that Murray is himself a new kind of of synthetic historian. His is a remarkable feat of synthesis, a full and generous-spirited account of the scholarship on the cycle. [He] brings together coherently and accessibly all the materials ...', Bernard O'Donoghue, TLS (2018).

'As its title suggests, Kevin Murray's book surveys the early ... textual record of the Finn ... Cycle of literature about the hero Finn mac Cumaill and his warrior band ... A welcome new edition, The Early Finn Cycle provides the first comprehensive overview of the early corpus ... Murray is at his best when working closely with the primary sources to bring to light the previously neglected points of detail that help us more fully understand the scope and early development of the cycle ... His careful consideration of these and other aspects of the early corpus ensures that The Early Finn Cycle will find a place on researchers' desks.', Natasha Sumner, Speculum (July 2019).

'Welcoming to non-Celticists but useful even for those well versed in the field, Murray's The Early Finn Cycle introduces a modern audience to a medieval Irish laboratory in which to ask such questions and test the possible answers.', Joseph Falaky Nagy, Folklore, (2019).