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The High Deeds of Finn and other Bardic Romances of Ancient Ireland   By: (1857-1920)

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The High Deeds of Finn and other Bardic Romances of Ancient Ireland by Thomas W. Rolleston is a mesmerizing collection of ancient Irish tales that is sure to captivate readers with its rich mythology and colorful characters. Rolleston masterfully weaves together various narratives, allowing us a glimpse into the world of heroes, magic, and honor.

The book takes us on a journey through the enchanting land of ancient Ireland, where Finn and his brave companions embark on extraordinary adventures, battling fantastical creatures and navigating treacherous landscapes. These legendary heroes and their larger-than-life exploits are brought to life through vivid descriptions and a writing style that effortlessly transports the reader to a time long gone.

One of the most striking aspects of this collection is the depth of characters and their unwavering commitment to virtues such as loyalty, courage, and justice. Finn, the charismatic and valiant leader, stands out as a symbol of heroism and wisdom. His interactions with his loyal band of warriors, known as the Fianna, create a bond that is fueled by camaraderie and a shared code of honor.

Rolleston's prose is powerful and evocative, steeped in the lyrical storytelling traditions of ancient Celtic bards. The descriptive language enhances the mythical elements of the stories and paints a vivid picture of ancient Ireland, with its mystical forests, sacred lakes, and hauntingly beautiful melodies.

Moreover, this collection is not limited to tales of Finn. Rolleston also delves into the stories of other legendary figures such as Cuchulain and Diarmuid, expanding our understanding of the diverse heroes and their quest for heroism and immortality. Each story intertwines seamlessly with the next, forming a tapestry of interconnected mythological narratives that illustrate the ancient Celtic understanding of courage, love, and destiny.

While the book showcases the heroic deeds of Finn and his companions, it also explores the complexities of their characters. They find themselves conflicted between their duties as warriors and their personal desires, grappling with choices that could alter the course of their lives. This internal struggle adds depth and nuance to the stories, making them more relatable and human.

The High Deeds of Finn and other Bardic Romances of Ancient Ireland is not only an entertaining read but also a window into the cultural heritage of Ireland. It is a homage to ancient folklore, where warriors and poets reign supreme, and where nature and magic intertwine seamlessly. Rolleston's passion for these stories shines through in his meticulous research and his ability to transport the reader to a time filled with wonder, adventure, and a touch of the supernatural.

In conclusion, this book is a treasure trove of ancient Irish mythology and should undoubtedly be cherished by both lovers of folklore and those interested in exploring the rich tapestry of Celtic heritage. Thomas W. Rolleston's masterful storytelling and deep understanding of the ancient bardic romances make The High Deeds of Finn a timeless classic that will continue to enchant and inspire generations to come.

First Page:





With an Introduction by Stopford A. Brooke, M.A. LL.D.

And with Sixteen Illustrations by Stephen Reid

New York Thomas Y. Crowell & Company Publishers



The romantic tales here retold for the English reader belong neither to the category of folk lore nor of myth, although most of them contain elements of both. They belong, like the tales of Cuchulain, which have been similarly presented by Miss Hull,[1] to the bardic literature of ancient Ireland, a literature written with an artistic purpose by men who possessed in the highest degree the native culture of their land and time. The aim with which these men wrote is also that which has been adopted by their present interpreter. I have not tried, in this volume, to offer to the scholar materials for the study of Celtic myth or folk lore. My aim, however I may have fulfilled it, has been artistic, not scientific. I have tried, while carefully preserving the main outline of each story, to treat it exactly as the ancient bard treated his own material, or as Tennyson treated the stories of the MORT D'ARTHUR, that is to say, to present it as a fresh work of poetic imagination... Continue reading book >>

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