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Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures


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 Publications

Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 8

Title: The Life of Saint Enda, Abbot of Aran

Authors: Matthias Egeler and Susanne Ruhland

ISBN: 978-0-9955469-4-3

Quick Overview: The three Aran Islands in Galway Bay in the west of Ireland — Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr —have exerted a pull on Irish and British imagination unlike any other archipelago of their small size, with the exception perhaps of the Blasket Islands. 

A central part of the foundation myth of the Islands is the Life of their patron saint Éanna (or Éinne), commonly anglicised as Enda and Latinised as Endeus. A scion of noble lineage who would have lived during the early years of Christianity in Ireland, his arrival on the Aran Islands constituted a complete break with everything that went before (or so his Life claims). Since tradition thus places him at the recorded beginning of one of Ireland’s most iconic places, it is almost ironic that no translation of his medieval Latin Life had been published to date. The present book aims to close this gap, and is prefaced by an essay on Landscape and Labour in the Life. 

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Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 7

Title: Dindshenchas Érenn

Author: Marie-Luise Theuerkauf

ISBN: 978-0-9955469-7-4

Quick Overview: The purpose of the present volume is to provide an accessible overview and entry into the complex literary creation known as Dindshenchas Érenn 'History of the Notable Places of Ireland'. The five chapters in the book consider different aspects of the Dindshenchas corpus, ranging from the manuscript sources; the format and structure of the various texts so labelled; an overview of the scholarship published to date; the dating of the corpus; the Dindshenchas as a branch of aetiological literature; and an analysis of the literary connections between the Dindshenchas and medieval Irish literature generally.

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CSCL Publications


Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 1

Title: The Fenian Cycle in Irish and Scots-Gaelic Literature

Author: Joseph J. Flahive

ISBN: 9780995546905

Quick Overview: 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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Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 2

Title: The Case of the Abbot of Drimnagh: A Medieval Irish Story of Sex-Change

Author: Tadhg Ó Síocháin 

ISBN:  9780995546912

Quick Overview: 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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Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 3

Title: The Mythological Cycle of Medieval Irish Literature

Author: John Carey

ISBN: 978-0-9955469-2-9

Quick Overview: 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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Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 4

Title: The Ó Neachtain Window on Gaelic Dublin, 1700–1750

Author: Liam Mac Mathúna 

ISBN: 978-0-9955469-3-6

Quick Overview: Seán Ó Neachtain and his son Tadhg were at the centre of Gaelic scholarship in Dublin in the first half of the eighteenth century. Much of their work is infused by the impulses of modernity and sensibility, which permeated the city’s intellectual life at the time. The numerous extant manuscripts, which the Ó Neachtains and their learned colleagues wrote, bear testimony to that community’s industry, not only in preserving the literature of earlier periods but in creating new works. This is therefore an account of Gaelic scholarship in an urban setting, told from the inside.

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Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 5

Title: The Early Fenian Corpus

Author: Kevin Murray

ISBN: 978-0-9955469-5-0

Quick Overview: The Early Fenian Cycle is concerned with texts primarily written before the end of the Middle Irish period (up to 1200) which deal with Finn mac Cumaill and his fían ('warrior band'), his son Oisín, his grandson Oscar, and with other fíana and their leaders. This work provides a catalogue of early constituent texts pertaining to this Cycle, with a focus on their dates of composition, on the manuscripts in which they are found and on the editions and translations currently available.

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Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures 6

Title: Revisiting the Cycles of the Kings

Editor: Kevin Murray

ISBN: 978-0-9955469-6-7

Quick Overview: This collection of essays focuses on the medieval Irish tales which modern scholarship has designated as belonging to the category of literature known as the Cycles of the Kings. The five scholars featured in this volume (Neil Buttimer, Clodagh Downey, Ralph O'Connor, Ken Ó Donnchú and Aogán Ó hIarlaithe) have already made a substantial contribution to our understanding of this body of material. In these studies, all the authors engage to a greater or lesser extent with the concept of the cycle, and with its importance to the study of medieval Irish literature.

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CSCL Submission Guidelines

Download CSCL submission guidelines [uploaded May 2019]: CSCL submission guidelines [PDF]

Cork Studies in Celtic Literatures