Irelands Immortals tells the story of one of the worlds great mythologies. The first account of the gods of Irish myth to take in the whole sweep of Irish literature in both the nations languages, the book describes how Irelands pagan divinities were transformed into literary characters in the medieval Christian eraand how they were recast again during the Celtic Revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A lively narrative of supernatural beings and their fascinating and sometimes bizarre stories, Mark Williamss comprehensive history traces how these godsknown as the Tatha D Danannhave shifted shape across the centuries, from Iron Age cult to medieval saga to todays young-adult fiction.We meet the heroic Lug; the Morrgan, crow goddess of battle; the fire goddess Brigit, who moonlights as a Christian saint; the mist-cloaked sea god Manannn mac Lir; and the ageless fairies who inspired J.R.R. Tolkiens immortal elves. Medieval clerics speculated that the Irish divinities might be devils, angels, or enchanters. W. B. Yeats invoked them to reimagine the national condition, while his friend George Russell beheld them in visions and understood them to be local versions of Hindu deities. The book also tells how the Scots repackaged Irelands divine beings as the gods of the Gael on both sides of the seaand how Irish mythology continues to influence popular culture far beyond Ireland.An unmatched chronicle of the Irish gods, Irelands Immortals illuminates why these mythical beings have loomed so large in the worlds imagination for so long.
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