Heroic Landscapes: Irish Myth and Legend
By Rod O’Donoghue
Paintings by Tighe O’Donoghue/Ross
Foreword by Professor Dáithí Ó hÓgáin
George William Russell (Æ)’s line in the poem ‘Ancient’ – ‘A ladder the soul may climb’ – might have been written to describe Irish folk tradition and there is no doubt of its continuing appeal for readers and lovers of literature in Ireland and abroad. For centuries, storytellers (seanchaíthe) handed down, first orally and then in writing, tales of long ago, many prehistoric, others from the early Christian period when kings, saints and heroes mingled. Myths and folklore are stories of extraordinary and wondrous people, creatures, places and events: of voyages and monsters, of heroes like Cú Chulainn and Fionn mac Cumhaill, 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 and legend – how the kaleidoscope of stories fit together – and to present them in a way that is accessible to the general reader. Eminent folklorist Dáithi Ó hÓgáin describes Heroic Landscapes as ‘intriguing in its scope, honest and alluring… always significant in its delineation of the human spirit’. A selection of the evocative paintings of Tighe O’Donoghue/Ross with their mythological and historic landscape of the imagination complements the rich heritage of the tales chosen by the author.
Price: £17.99; Paperback with 256 pages, Published by Londubh Books, Dublin, May 2011
About the AuthorRod O’Donoghue has studied history and mythology for more than thirty years, in Ireland since 1990. A lover of language, he learnt Irish to deepen his research. Rod was born in England and now lives in London but his family comes from County Kerry. A retired businessman, he served as a board director for Kimberly-Clark, Rank Xerox, Pritchard Services, Gestetner and Inchcape in the UK and abroad, having qualified originally as a chartered accountant. His first book, O’Donoghue People and Places, was published by Ballinakella Press in 1999 and he has written regular articles for the quarterly journal of the O’Donoghue Society (www.odonoghue.co.uk), which he founded in 2000.
O'Donoghue - People and Places
The O'Donoghue name is ancient in Irish history.
It has been spelt in around three hundred different ways over the centuries, but the origin remains the Gaelic Irish Ó Donnchadha. These many different spellings can be seen on the Name variants area of this site. This book traces the development of the name from early tribal times through the phases of Irish history and migration - events, people and places are described and illustrated. If your heritage interests you, this 128 page A5 hardback will be enjoyable reading.
Written by Rod O'Donoghue, a student of Irish history, and illustrated by his son Richard, this book is the result of five years research.
Published by Ballinakella Press, Co. Clare.
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