"A valuable addition to the field of Irish studies. Recommended."—Choice
"An immensely useful and long-needed critical resource which combines an edition of Standish O’Grady’s influential writings on the heroic figure of Cuculain with an excellent scholarly apparatus."—Margaret Kelleher, chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama, University College Dublin
"This [edition] makes available one of the seminal sources of the Irish Literary Revival. Its value is greatly enhanced by a number of essays which relate O’Grady’s treatment of Cuculain to the scholarly and antiquarian sources on which O’Grady drew."—Patrick Maume, researcher for the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography
"O’Grady’s work opens discussion into English literature, historiography, and political writing at large, which makes this volume provocative and useful for multiple audiences."—Nicholas Allen, professor of English,University of Georgia
Between 1878 and 1881, Standish O’Grady published a three-volume History of Ireland that simultaneously recounted the heroic ancient past of the Irish people and helped to usher in a new era of cultural revival and political upheaval. At the heart of this history was the figure of Cuculain, the great mythic hero who would inspire a generation of writers and revolutionaries, from W. B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory to Patrick Pearse. Despite the profound influence O’Grady’s writings had on literary and political culture in Ireland, they are not as well known as they should be, particularly in view of the increasingly global interest in Irish culture. This critical edition of the Cuculain legend offers a concise, abridged version of the central story in History of Ireland—the rise of the young warrior, his famous exploits in the Táin Bó Cualinge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), and his heroic death. Castle and Bixby’s edition also includes a scholarly introduction, biography, timeline, glossary, editorial notes, and critical essays, demonstrating the significance of O’Grady’s writing for the continued reimagining of Ireland’s past, present, and future. Inviting a new generation of readers to encounter this work, the volume provides the tools necessary to appreciate both O’Grady’s enduring importance as a writer and Cuculain’s continuing resonance as a cultural icon.
About the Author
Gregory Castle is professor of English at Arizona State University. He is the author of numerous books, including Modernism and the Celtic Revival.
Patrick Bixby is associate professor and director of graduate studies at Arizona State University. He is the author of Samuel Beckett and the Postcolonial Novel.
Series: Irish Studies
6 x 9, 320 pages, 3 black and white illustrations