Full Title: Gablánach in Scélaigecht – Celtic Studies in Honor of Ann Dooley
Editors: Sarah Sheehan, Joanne Findon and Westley Follet
Publisher: Four Courts Press
Pages: 282, including the Index
Synopsis: This book celebrates the career of Ann Dooley, one of Canada’s most eminent Celtic medievalists. Dooley’s colleagues at the University of Toronto, her former doctoral students, and some of the most prominent scholars in medieval Celtic studies honor her work with 16 original essays reflecting Dooley’s teaching and interests: early Irish and Welsh literature and history, literary theory, and feminist approaches to medieval Celtic literature. Chapters include: studies of major figures in early Irish and Welsh folklore, including Gwydion, Nes, Deirdriu, Luaine, Medb * studies of major texts, including the Auraicept na nEces, the Acallam na Senorach, and the Tain Bo Cuailnge * women, blood, and soul-friendship * how Irish was medieval Ceredigion? * the ‘Statute of Gruffudd ap Cynan’ * the Irish history of the ‘Third Troy’ and medieval writing of history * the monstrous hero * the O’Donohue lives of the Salamancan Codex.
Review: This book has a collection of sixteen essays that are diverse, informative and interesting. The authors of these essays include Ann Dooley’s collegues and students. Authos include John Carey, Pádraig Ó Riain, Tomás Ó Cathasaigh, Dáibhí Ó Cróinín and Patrick K. Ford; all giants in their fields.
Some of the topics discussed include St. Patrick, Irish Saint’s lives, the Book of Kells, women and blood, the Acallam na Senórach, Auraicept na nÉces, and the Táin Bó Cúailnge.
I won’t discuss the essays themselves because they are very specialized, but I will tell you that I learned a lot and had a lot of “hmmm” and “aha!” moments. Some of the essays were more interesting than others and some were much more fun to read than others. I also want to say that this book is not for the beginner in the field. It is more intermediate to advanced. You have to at least have an idea about the texts the authors are talking about or at least have a way to access them and get some background knowledge.