The Names Upon The Harp: Irish Myths And Legends

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9780590680523: The Names Upon The Harp: Irish Myths And Legends

Provides readers of all ages with an illustrated collection of Irish myths and legends, including "The Birth of Cuchulain" and "Oisin in the Land of Youth." By the illustrator of When Jessie Came Across the Sea. 35,000 first printing.

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Review :

Told at feasts and gatherings by bards and storytellers, and handed down from generation to generation for centuries, Irish myths and legends are full of bold heroes, dastardly villains, fierce battles, and passionate romances. In this thrilling collection, Marie Heaney provides a sampling of one of the world's greatest literary traditions. She divides the stories into the three cycles scholars have established for Irish literature: the Mythological cycle, the Ulster cycle, and the Fenian cycle, providing a brief introduction to each. From the "Children of Lir," in which a king's four children are turned into swans by an angry stepmother, to "Bricriu's Feast," the bloody tale in which the champion of Ulster is determined, to "Oisin in the Land of Youth," about a man who is lured to the Land of Youth, only to return to his homeland centuries later and become withered and ancient, these stories are riveting. Patrick James Lynch's sweeping, dramatic illustrations reflect the glorious, beautiful, horrifying, or sometimes downright gory nature of the myths and legends of Ireland. If the nine tales themselves don't give readers delicious fodder for nightmares, the pictures will! For the truly insatiable, a section with further reading, source notes, and a pronunciation guide is provided. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly :

Heaney delves into the roots of Irish lore for her collection of eight tales. Conflict, murder and magic abound as kings and chieftains fight one another over beautiful women or to win honor.The author, the wife of Seamus Heaney, divides the volume into the three accepted cycles of early Irish literature (the mythological, Ulster and Finn cycles), providing a brief explanation of the period as well as tales representative of each. Readers meet a variety of Ireland's ancient heroes and villains as they conquer lands and such peoples as the Tuatha De Danaan, who later became known as the Faery or Little Folk that live under the earth in the Land of Youth. Heaney includes all the necessary elementsAdrama, intrigue, ambition, wizardryAbut something is amiss when she strings them together. The narrative becomes mired in copious, often confusing detail (e.g., a brief mention of the character Morann in "The Birth of Cuchulainn" goes unexplained) and difficult-to-pronounce names (a key is provided at book's end). "The Children of Lir," for instance, gets bogged down in logistics and is not as musical as Malachy Doyle's version in his recent Tales from Old Ireland; the writing overall lacks spark and a smooth storytelling pace. Young readers will likely find this work more tough-going than tantalizing. Lynch (The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey) serves up a theatrical pastiche of watercolor-and-gouache, capturing kings, maidens, druids and cherubic babies in his striking portraits and creating sweeping scenes of the harsh and rugged Irish landscape (and seascape) of yore. All ages.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Marie Heaney
Edité par Arthur A. Levine Books (2000)
ISBN 10 : 0590680528 ISBN 13 : 9780590680523
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