By Rod O’Donoghue;
Paintings by Tighe O’Donoghue/Ross;
Foreword by Professor Dáithí Ó hÓgáin
George William Russell’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: £8.00; Paperback with 256 pages, Published by Londubh Books, Dublin, May 2011