Essays on the early Irish king tales

Dan M. Wiley, editor

Hardback €49.50
Catalogue Price: €55.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-045-8
March 2008. 240pp.

‘Wiley, the editor, has done an admirable job, both in the preface and in his 54-page “introduction”, in explaining the scope and problematic nature of the material. The introduction provides a contextualized catalogue of the tales, giving us both their provenance and a guide to published editions and translations', Alex Woolf, Early Medieval Europe (2013).

'A particularly fine and very accessible read on some of the sources, upon which, in addition to the Annals, we base of our understanding and knowledge of the Ireland of this early period in our history', Michael Merrigan, Ireland’s Genealogical Gazette (2008).

‘Celticists from Ireland as far west as Los Angeles provide the first survey since the 1950s of the narratives that are also known as the Historical Tales, and the Cycles of the Kings‘, Book News (August 2008).

‘This book falls neatly into two parts. It opens with an extended survey, by the editor, of the corpus of medieval Irish stories which have been variously designated ‘king tales’, ‘historical tales’, or ‘the Cycles of the Kings’…The book’s second part comprises six essays dealing with one or more king tales, or with issues affecting our understanding of such tales more generally; there is also a brief edition of a single text…each of these essays is excellent in its own right. And perhaps, simply because the book directs the reader’s attention to so much unexplored territory while leaving that territory still virtually undisturbed, it will be all the more effective as an inspiration for future research.’ John Carey, Irish Classics (2008).

‘This is a very welcome contribution. It presents an impressive range and richness of material. Each essay makes interesting reading and testifies to the high quality of work being done by the contributors in the areas covered. It will be a very useful resource in the study of early Irish history and literature', Uáitéar Mac Gearailt, Studia Hibernica (2008/9).

‘… adds much to our understanding of the early Irish king tales, and will be of great interest to scholars. It will doubtless encourage future research and debate on the topic', Róisín McLaughlin, Irish Historical Studies (Nov. 2009).