Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: Fairy and Folk Tales of Ireland by WB Yeats

Fairy and Folk Tales of IrelandFairy and Folk Tales of Ireland by William Butler Yeats
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this as part of my research for a short story I was writing, and it ended up taking up taking longer to read than the story did to write! That doesn't necessarily reflect poorly on the book, though, as I found it quite interesting. Engrossing in parts, even.

Here, Yeats gathers and edits stories and myths from Ireland, largely from the translations and collections of other folklorists. It focuses mainly on the faeries, though it also includes water creatures (i.e. the merrow), witches, ghosts, and various mythical creatures. If you're wanting a lot on the mythic heroes, there's some but not a great deal. (You'd want to supplement in this area, I should think.) It does, however, include a good mixture of "traditional Irish" tales and "Irish Catholic" lore, which I found fascinating, such as discussions of the souls of faeries, folk tales about saints and the devil, and so forth. Too many studies are apt to separate "pagan" and "Catholic" beliefs artificially, in my opinion, and this synthesis feels more authentic to Irish culture.

If you're studying Irish folklore for scholarly or academic reasons, I think you can find better sources, though this might be useful as a historical look. The stories are largely anecdotal, and I didn't always know what was regional and what was widespread. Academic sources generally have more specificity to them, which would be necessary to avoid generalizing local legend. However, for a writer or an interested reader, this collection is very nice. I found it highly readable, with a nice feel of the local dialects, and the price was outstanding, if I recall correctly. My one major criticism of this book, in terms of usefulness, is that I'd love to have an edition with an index. Without one, the book is really only useful for a read, and not as a reference.

Finally, it's exciting to read such a record from the pen of such a famous writer, and as a piece of national literature or history of ethnography, it has become something of a classic.

I found it very interesting, and it was useful for my purpose. I'd recommend it, considering its price and classic status, to anyone wanting casual reading or light research on the topic of Irish folklore, with the caveat that it is comparatively light in the hero legends, as well as a bit lacking in the rich cryptozoology of Ireland (aside from the pooka and a few other common ones).

I enjoyed it, though it was a bit of a long haul. It made excellent before-bed reading, one or two stories at a time.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Questions? Comments?

Questions? Comments?
Request a Review PDF!

Labels

:p (2) #samplesunday (25) 12 Flavours (15) 1K a Day (3) 1NS (1) 1Place for Romance (1) 2010 in Review (2) A Christmas Carol (1) A Funny Thing Happened... (7) About Me (3) Academics (1) Ads (1) Advice (2) After Life (2) All I Want (13) All Romance Ebooks (2) Alphamales (1) Amanda Wood (3) Amazon (6) American History (1) Andre Jute (1) Andy Rane (1) Angst (1) Anniversaries (3) Announcements (50) Anthologies (9) Aretha Smith (1) Artists (1) Ashley Rae (1) Ashlynn Monroe (9) Author Blogs (2) Author Portrait (1) Authors (5) Authors Behaving Well (1) Autumn (1) Awards (2) b4e (1) Bats (2) Behind the Books (2) Betareaders (3) BethAnn Buehler (5) Birthdays (1) BL Morticia (2) Blair McDowell (1) Blog Hop (14) Blog Novel (1) blog stuff (45) Blog Tours (3) BlogTalkRadio (2) Blurbs (4) Bob Mayer (1) Book Recommendation (7) Book Reviews (11) Book Spotlights (1) Bookmarks (2) Books (5) Britain (1) Bubbly (15) Business (21) Busy (2) call for submissions (1) Canada (6) Canadian Writers (4) Carl J Franklin (1) Carla Caruso (1) Categories (1) Cerise DeLand (1) Change (1) Changeling Press (1) Character Interviews (2) Characters (1) Charity (11) Chats (6) Childhood (1) Children (1) Christmas (13) Christopher Craven (2) Clare Dargin (2) Classics (2) Coffee (1) Coffee Breaks (33) Coffee Corner Forum (1) Coffee Time Romance (4) Cold War (1) Comments Please (3) Computers (2) Contact Me (11) Contemporary (8) Contests (31) Conventions (1) CoolMain Press (3) Copyright (2) Coral Moore (2) Cormack's Luck (5) Cover Artists (2) Cover Contests (2) Covers (18) Craft (1) Creepy Tales (1) CTR (1) Current Affairs (1) Current Work (18) Dakota Franklin (1) Dana Michelle Burnett (1) Dana Taylor (1) Dark (1) Dark Fantasy Romance (1) Dark Romance (1) Dating (1) Deanna Wadsworth (2) Death (1) Debbie Macomber (2) Debra Webb (1) Decadent Publishing (21) Declan Conner (1) Desi Moon (1) Ebooks (6) Editing (13) editors (2) Education (3) End of an Era (1) Epic Fantasy (1) epublishers (11) ereaders (2) Erotic (29) Erotic Romance (3) erotica (3) Events (12) Excerpt Sundays (43) Excerpts (56) Experiment (2) FaceBook (6) Fade to Black (1) Fall 2010 Project (26) Family (2) Fan Sites (1) fanfiction (2) Fantasy (6) Features (7) Feedback Needed (5) Fill the Shelves (1) First Dates (1) Folklore and Mythology (2) Food (2) Forums (3) Free Fridays (38) Free Reads (2) Free Stuff (5) Freebies (1) Freelancing (1) friends (5) Fruitcake (1) Fun Facts (1) FYI (2) Gary Vanucci (1) Geek Hero (1) Gemma Coole (1) Genre (9) George Berger (1) Giveaways (12) Global (1) Goals (7) Good causes (4) Good for the Goose (29) Good Ideas (2) Good Times (3) GoodReads (10) Gracen Miller (1) Grammar (1) Great Ideas (1) Greetings (1) GTKY (8) Guest Blog (2) Guest Blogging (1) Guest Blogs (5) Guest Excerpts (6) Guest Posts (22) Guest Recipes (1) Guest Spots (6) Halloween (10) Harry Potter (1) HEA (2) Hiatus (8) Historical Romance (2) History (5) Holiday (26) holiday romance (22) Holiday Shorts (52) Holiday Showcase (1) Holidays (22) Hope (1) How Tos (4) HQ (2) Humour (3) In Flanders Fields (1) In the News (1) Indie (4) Ingrid Weaver (1) Innovation (1) inspirational romance (2) Internet (4) Interviews (61) Invitations (8) Invites (6) Ireland (2) Issues (1) Jackie M Smith (3) Jasmine Aherne (4) Jean Brashear (2) Jennifer Wilck (1) JERR (1) Jessica Coulter Smith (3) Jessica Subject (1) JL Oiler (4) Joanne Troppello (7) John Howard Griffin (1) John McCrae (1) Joyfully Reviewed (3) Just for Fun (1) Juvenile Fiction (2) Kathleen Ann Gallagher (2) KB Authors (1) Keep in Touch (2) Kidding Around (1) Kids (1) Kiki Howell (1) Kindle (3) Kindlegraph (1) Krista Ball (2) Labour Day (2) Laments (1) Lanie Barnes (1) LaVerne Thompson (1) Leanne Dyck (3) Leanore Elliott (3) Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy (3) Legal Issues (1) Legos (1) Lending (1) Leslie Soule (1) LGTBQI (4) Life (5) Like Magic (18) Lila Munro (5) Lindsay Marene Ordone (1) Links (20) Liquid Heat (2) Lisa Day (1) Lisa de Nikolits (1) Lists (1) Literacy (1) litfic (1) Love (1) m/m (1) magazine work (1) Mahalia Levey (1) Marketing (16) Marriage of Convenience (1) Maureen Betita (1) Meatless Mondays (18) Megaposts (1) Melissa Keir (2) Memberships (1) Memes (2) Memoir (1) Memories (3) Mentions (2) Merfolk (1) Michel Prince (2) Milestones (3) mission statement (2) Monetizing (1) Motherhood (7) Motivation (12) Movie Reviews (2) Movies (4) Muses (1) Music (1) Musings (1) Must Love Books (3) Mysteries (1) Nancy LaPonzina (1) NaNo 2011 (1) NaNo2011 (6) NaNo2012 (2) NaNoWriMo (30) NASCAR (1) Nathalie LeBlanc (1) Nathan Morissey (1) Nature (3) Nerd Power (1) New Releases (6) New to Me Authors (1) New Years (3) News (2) Newsletter (6) Nominations (1) Non Fiction (1) Non-Fiction (3) Non-Romance (10) Nova Scotia (1) Observations (7) Off Topic (2) Open Thursdays (12) Opinion (7) Paperback (10) Paranormal (22) Parenting (10) Patrica Yager Delagrange (1) Personal Saturdays (11) Pet Peeves (1) Pictures (5) Pink Petal Books (5) Piracy (2) Pirates (1) PK Morris (1) Plagiarism (1) PNR (3) Poetry (2) Politics (1) POV (1) PR (14) Press Releases (1) Print (1) Process (1) Profession (1) Progress (14) promo ops (1) Promos (31) Promotions (35) PSAs (1) publishers (2) Publishing (2) Questionable Decisions (1) Questions (11) Quotes (1) Random Thoughts (7) Rants (6) Rawiya (2) Reading (2) Real Life (30) Realm of Ashenclaw (1) Rebel Ink (43) Recipes (18) Recommended Blogs (1) Reflections (2) Release Celebration (34) Remembrance Day (2) Reminder (1) Reminders (3) Research (4) Resolutions (1) Retrospectives (1) Reviews (10) Rhiannon Ellis (1) RIP (1) Romance (8) Romance Fiction (2) Romantic Comedy (2) Romantic Literature (1) Romantic Suspense (1) RomFan Reviews (1) Ruth Madison (3) RWA (1) Sales (8) Samples (1) Sara York (1) Savings (1) Sci-fi (3) Seasonal (1) Secret Project (2) Self-Publishing (4) Series (3) Shadonna Richards (1) Sherlock Holmes (1) Shifters (2) Short Pieces (23) Show Cases (1) Show Me The Money (1) Sickness (2) Siobhan Kinkade (2) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1) Six Sentence Sunday (6) Sizzling Hot Book Reviews (1) Sizzling PR (15) Social Justice (2) Social Media (1) Social Science (1) Speculative Fiction (1) SQUEE (3) Stacey Thompson Geer (4) Star Trek (2) Stephanie Draven (1) Stephanie Queen (1) storytelling (1) Strings Attached (32) Stuart Aken (1) Submissions (5) Summer 2011 Project (1) SuperRomance (1) Suzzana C Ryan (2) Swag (2) Taglines (1) TBR (1) Teachers (5) Teaching (4) Television (1) Textbook Romance (21) Thanksgiving (4) The Onion (1) The Romance Reviews (1) Thinking Out Loud (2) Thrillers (1) Thursday 13 (6) Titles (2) Topaz (1) Topical Tuesdays (20) Tot (1) Toys (1) Traditionals (1) Trailer (11) Translation (1) Tributes (1) TRR (3) TRS (2) Twitter (1) Twitter Pals (1) Tyhada's Bookshelf (1) University (2) Unwrapping Scrooge (40) Upcoming (28) Updates (10) Urgent (1) V-Day (18) Valentines Day (8) Vampires (2) Vera Jane Cook (1) Victorian Piece (2) Victoriana (2) Video (1) Vincent Price (1) Votes request (1) Waiting (1) Waking Kara (14) War (1) WB Yeats (1) Weather (2) Websites (3) welcome (1) Wellness (2) Wendy Smith (4) Western Romance (1) WHP (21) Wicked Nights (14) Winners (2) Winter 2011 Project (2) WIP (27) Women's Fiction (1) Wordless Wednesday (6) Words (1) Worthy Cause (1) Wounded Hero (1) Writing (19) Writing Tips (18) Writing Wednesdays (23) WWI (1) YA Paranormal (1) You Gotta Read (2) You Never Know (1) YouTube (3) Yule Be Mine (6) Zombies (1)