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Ulster Folklore   By:

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Ulster Folklore by Elizabeth Andrews is a captivating exploration of the rich traditions and enchanting tales that have been passed down through generations in the region of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Andrews takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through time, shedding light on the customs, superstitions, and mythical creatures that have shaped the folklore of this vibrant land.

One of the book's most admirable aspects is Andrews' meticulous research. She delves deep into the archives, unearthing forgotten stories and ballads, and presents them in a comprehensive and engaging manner. Andrews seamlessly weaves together different strands of folklore, be it tales of ghosts and spirits, figures from Irish mythology, or practices associated with seasonal customs and rituals.

Moreover, Andrews demonstrates a deep understanding and respect for the cultural significance of folklore in Ulster. She ensures that each story and anecdote is accompanied by appropriate historical context, explaining the social and religious forces that influenced the beliefs of the time. Through her analysis, she uncovers the underlying meaning and symbolism within these folktales, highlighting how they reflect the hopes, fears, and collective wisdom of the Ulster people.

The book's structure is well-organized, dividing the folklore into distinct categories, which allows readers to explore specific aspects of interest or follow a chronological progression. Each chapter is filled with an array of enthralling and extraordinary tales. From the terrifying banshees that haunt the hillsides to the mischievous fairies that inhabit the glens, Andrews paints a vivid picture of the mystical beings that populate Ulster's folklore.

Andrews' prose style is eloquent yet accessible, making it easy for readers with varying levels of familiarity with folklore to engage with the material. Her passion for the subject shines through every page, and her enthusiasm is infectious. The attention to detail and the descriptive language used by the author bring the stories to life, transporting readers to a world where myths and reality intertwine.

Despite its merits, one potential drawback of Ulster Folklore is that certain sections may be inadequate for readers seeking a more in-depth analysis of specific tales or motifs. Although Andrews provides a comprehensive overview of the folklore, those with a more specialized interest may need to consult more specialized sources for further information.

Overall, Ulster Folklore is a captivating and enchanting book that successfully captures the essence of the rich oral tradition of Ulster. Elizabeth Andrews' meticulous research and passionate storytelling make this book a valuable resource not only for folklorists and scholars but also for anyone with an interest in the magical world of Irish folklore. From beginning to end, this book is a delightful and enlightening exploration of a world imbued with mystery and whimsy.

First Page:


[Illustration: PLATE I. [ R. Welch, Photo. HARVEST KNOT.]






In 1894 I was at the meeting of the British Association at Oxford, and had the good fortune to hear Professor Julius Kollmann give his paper on "Pygmies in Europe," in which he described the skeletons which had then recently been discovered near Schaffhausen. As I listened to his account of these small people, whose average height was about four and a half feet, I recalled the description of Irish fairies given to me by an old woman from Galway, and it appeared to me that our traditional "wee folk" were about the size of these Swiss dwarfs. I determined to collect what information I could, and the result is given in the following pages. I found that the fairies are, indeed, regarded as small; but their height may be that of a well grown boy or girl, or they may not be larger than a child beginning to walk. I once asked a woman if they were as small as cocks and hens, but she laughed at the suggestion.

I had collected a number of stories, and had become convinced that in these tales we had a reminiscence of a dwarf race, when I read some of Mr... Continue reading book >>

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