The King of Ireland’s Son
Padraic Colum’s delightful book is a tightly-packed valise of stories, stories interrupted by stories, enclosed and bracketed by stories. We meet not only the King of Ireland’s son, but the sons of other kings– as well as daughters, demi-gods, animals kindly, malicious, foolish or wise. The illustrations by the great Willy Pogany are a delight as well, his elegant and easy lines illuminating titles and first capitals of each chapter.
I have two more of Padraic Colum’s wonderful works in the works;
James Stephens was not only an Irish writer– he was an Edwardian as well. Like his contemporary “Jameses,” Henry James and James Joyce, his work explores existential philosophy, psychology, sexuality. Personally, I prefer his celebratory approach to love and sex, and his portrayals of powerful women are refreshing for that era.
Irish Fairy Tales
Ten traditional tales retold with verve, humor and biting immediacy. These stories remind us that fairy tales are not merely told to children. The adult themes of sin and failure are addressed in amongst the fey people, talking animals, trolls and goblins.
Included here are; The story of Tuan Mac Cairill: The boyhood of Fionn: The birth of Bran: Oisi’n’s mother: The wooing of Becfola: The little brawl at Allen: The Carl of the drab coat: The enchanted cave of Cesh Corran: Becuma of the white skin: Mongan’s frenzy.
I’ve been somewhat at a loss to describe this book, so I’m just going to borrow these words;
“A group of ancient heroes in the form of winged angels show up one night in the camp of the wandering Mac Canns (Patsy, his daughter Mary and their downtrodden donkey). Together the little group wanders around rural Ireland: telling stories, creating mischief and running into some familiar yet often unwelcome faces.” (via Goodreads)
More from James Stephens, coming soon
“Bryan Michael MacMahon (29 September 1909 – 13 February 1998) was an Irish playwright, novelist and short story writer from Listowel, County Kerry. A schoolteacher by training, his works include The Lion Tamer, Patsy-o and his Wonderful Pets and The Red Petticoat. He wrote an autobiography, The Master, and his works include an English translation of Peig, the Irish-language autobiography of Peig Sayers.”
And he wrote Jack O’Moora and the King of Ireland’s Son and I’ve dusted it off for you to read.
Jack O’Moora and the King of Ireland’s Son (1950)
The King’s son, of course, means to search the wide world to find the woman of his heart. And he finds himself in the company of a strange tall, dark fellow, and—one by one—a collection of delightfully strange characters, who help him accomplish his quest.
All of which goes to prove that a very generous heart will be rewarded, especially when it beats withing the chest of a King’s son.
Illustrated in a grand Mid-Century style.