Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures

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The primary aim of this new series is to make available short studies focused on particular aspects of the vernacular pre-print literatures of the Celtic peoples. These might take the form of general surveys or broader thematic investigations, or may focus on individual narratives and their transmission. Inspired by such works such as Gerard Murphy’s Saga and Myth in Ancient Ireland (Dublin, 1955) and The Ossianic Lore and Romantic Tales of Medieval Ireland (Cork, 1955; revised ed. 1971), it is hoped that the volumes produced in the series will provide convenient access points (at affordable prices) to particular topics for third-level students and for those without the specific areas under investigation. Scholars wishing to have works considered for inclusion in the series should contact the Series Editor by mail (c/o Department of Early and Medieval Irish, University College Cork, Ireland) or by email (


Latest publication:

John Carey, The Mythological Cycle of Medieval Irish Literature

Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures, 3

A striking feature of medieval Irish literature is the prominence accorded to beings who are sometimes called the 'Túatha Dé' (Tribes of the Gods), and sometimes the people of the 'síde' or hollow hills: a magical race, in whom it is possible to recognise the divinities once worshipped by the pre-Christian Irish. Tales in which the 'Túatha Dé' have a central rôle have conventionally been assigned by scholars to a "mythological cycle". This book examines the background and rationale for this classification; discusses the nature of the 'Túatha Dé' themselves; and offers a survey of the tales of the 'Túatha Dé' that are attested from the Old Irish, Middle Irish and Early Modern Irish periods.

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CSCL Series Publications


Joseph J. Flahive, The Fenian Cycle in Irish and Scots-Gaelic Literature

Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 1
ISBN 9780995546905

 This work is intended as a handbook to the traditional Fenian literature of Ireland and Scotland from the earliest times to the modern period. As a synthesis for the use of student and layman alike, it follows in the footsteps of previous works, particularly those by Gerard Murphy, Alfred Nutt, and Kuno Meyer. 

The present volume differs chiefly from earlier introductions with regard to footnotes: an attempt has been made to name all the major Fenian narratives and collections, to cite all the cycle's constituent texts and collections, and to quote and reference the modern scholarship on these sources as a bibliographical guide.

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Tadhg Ó Síocháin, The Case of the Abbot of Drimnagh: A Medieval Irish Story of Sex-Change

Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 2
ISBN 9780995546912

 The enigmatic anecdote known as ‘The Abbot of Drimnagh’ contains an account of sex-changes experienced by an abbot, and its interpretation presents many challenges for the modern reader. The concepts of love, marriage and gender are central to the events recounted and these issues clearly resonated differently with the intended audience than they do with us today.

The analysis presented in this volume draws on modern writing on literary theory, on gender and sexuality, in addition to the work of historians and medieval literary analysts, and has as its central aim a desire to create an interest in this captivating but unusual tale.

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CSCL Submission Guidelines

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Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures