Author: Rod O’Donoghue
Paintings by: Tighe O’Donoghue/Ross
Publication Date: May 2011
George William Russell (1865-1935) described folkore and legend as ‘A ladder the soul may climb’ and there is no doubt of its continuing appeal for readers and storytellers in Ireland and abroad. For centuries, storytellers handed down, orally and then in writing, tales of long ago, many pre-historic, others from the early Christian period when saints and heroes, paganism and Christianity, mingled.
Myths and folklore are stories of extraordinary and wondrous people, creatures, places and events: of voyages and monsters, of heroes like Cúchulainn and Fionn Mac Cumhail, of epic battles, of beautiful maidens lost and won, who sometimes turned into butterflies or animals.
In Heroic Landscapes, folklore enthusiast and dedicated scholar, Rod O’Donoghue, sets out to give a coherent account of the different strands and eras of Irish myth – how the kaleidoscope of stories fit together – and to present them in a way that is accessible to the general reader. Eminent folklorist Professor Dáithi Ó hógáin describes Heroic Landscapes as ‘intriguing in its scope, honest and alluring… always significant in its delineation of the human spirit.’