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Early Bardic Literature, Ireland.   By: (1846-1928)

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Early Bardic Literature, Ireland by Standish O'Grady is a fascinating and informative exploration into the rich tradition of bardic literature in ancient Ireland. This book serves as a comprehensive introduction to one of the oldest literary traditions in Europe, shedding light on a period of Irish history that is often overlooked.

O'Grady's thorough research and meticulous attention to detail are evident throughout the book. He skillfully delves into the origins of Irish bards, tracing their roots back to the pre-Christian era and presenting a vivid picture of their significance in Celtic society. The author expertly analyzes the bardic literature, encompassing myths, legends, epic sagas, and historical narratives, offering readers a thorough understanding of this ancient art form.

One of the strengths of Early Bardic Literature, Ireland is O'Grady's ability to bring the tales to life on the page. His meticulous translation and interpretation of the texts allow readers to fully immerse themselves in the mythical world of ancient Ireland. By clarifying the complexities of the stories and highlighting their moral and cultural implications, O'Grady ensures that readers from various backgrounds can appreciate and engage with this ancient literature.

Another notable aspect of this book is the historical context provided by O'Grady. Through meticulous research, he helps readers comprehend the socio-political environment in which these tales were created and performed, shedding light on the role of the bards in society, their relationship with the ruling class, and the impact of external influences on their art.

While the writing style in Early Bardic Literature, Ireland may feel a bit dense and academic at times, the content itself is invaluable for anyone interested in Celtic folklore, Irish history, or ancient literature. O'Grady's passion for the subject matter shines through, and his dedication to preserving and presenting these timeless tales is commendable.

However, it is worth noting that the book's narrow focus on bardic literature might limit its appeal to a specific audience. Those seeking a more comprehensive overview of Irish history may feel that certain aspects outside the scope of the bardic tradition are not adequately covered.

In conclusion, Early Bardic Literature, Ireland is an impressive and comprehensive examination of the ancient Irish bardic tradition. Standish O'Grady's meticulous research, insightful analysis, and passion for the subject make this book an invaluable resource for scholars, students, and anyone seeking to explore the rich cultural heritage of ancient Ireland.

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By Standish O'Grady

11 Lower Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin

Scattered over the surface of every country in Europe may be found sepulchral monuments, the remains of pre historic times and nations, and of a phase of life will civilisation which has long since passed away. No country in Europe is without its cromlechs and dolmens, huge earthen tumuli, great flagged sepulchres, and enclosures of tall pillar stones. The men by whom these works were made, so interesting in themselves, and so different from anything of the kind erected since, were not strangers and aliens, but our own ancestors, and out of their rude civilisation our own has slowly grown. Of that elder phase of European civilisation no record or tradition has been anywhere bequeathed to us. Of its nature, and the ideas and sentiments whereby it was sustained, nought may now be learned save by an examination of those tombs themselves, and of the dumb remnants, from time to time exhumed out of their soil rude instruments of clay, flint, brass, and gold, and by speculations and reasonings founded upon these archaeological gleanings, meagre and sapless.

For after the explorer has broken up, certainly desecrated, and perhaps destroyed, those noble sepulchral raths; after he has disinterred the bones laid there once by pious hands, and the urn with its unrecognisable ashes of king or warrior, and by the industrious labour of years hoarded his fruitless treasure of stone celt and arrow head, of brazen sword and gold fibula and torque; and after the savant has rammed many skulls with sawdust, measuring their capacity, and has adorned them with some obscure label, and has tabulated and arranged the implements and decorations of flint and metal in the glazed cases of the cold gaunt museum, the imagination, unsatisfied and revolted, shrinks back from all that he has done... Continue reading book >>

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