Irish Folktales (Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) Edited by Henry Glassie


Irish Folktales is a book edited by Henry Glassie, who is a college Professor of Folklore at Indiana University.  The book has 122 tales divided into categories.  The categories themselves sometimes have sub-categories.

The categories are:
1. Faith with the sub-categories of saints, and the priest and his people.
2. Wit with the sub-categories of the wise and the foolish, wits and poets, tall tales and outwitting the devil.
3. Mystery with the sub-categories of death and tokens, ghosts, away, encounters with Fairies, Fairy traits and treasures, enchanted nature, illness and witchcraft and strange sounds and visions of war.
4. History with the sub-categories of ancient days, war, rapparees, and later days.
5. Fireside tales with the sub-categories of Fenian tales, maturity and wit and faith.

The book itself though starts with an introduction.  The introduction talks about how the editor got interested in the tales he is bringing to us in the book and he gives us a look into a little bit of how the study of folklore came about which was very interesting to read.  Through it he establishes the rules behind recording these tales and how to go about doing it.

The tales are very enjoyable and can be used as stories for the kids (as I found out from experience).  The fact that there are 122 tales, was interesting cause I found myself going through them very fast and in the end thought, huh, there is no way they were 122, they had to be much less.  I loved the book, and I loved the style of the writing as well as the divisions of the book.  A great addition anyone’s library.

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