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Author Williams, M. A. (Mark Andrew), 1980- author

Title Ireland's immortals : a history of the gods of Irish myth / Mark Williams
Published Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, 2016
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Contents Hidden beginnings: from cult to conversion -- Earthly gods: pagan deities, Christian meanings -- Divine culture: exemplary gods and the mythological cycle -- New mythologies: pseudohistory and the lore of poets -- Vulnerability and grace: the Finn cycle -- Damaged gods: the late Middle Ages -- The imagination of the country: towards a national Pantheon -- Danaan mysteries: occult nationalism and the divine forms -- Highland divinities: the Celtic revival in Scotland -- Coherence and canon: the fairy faith and the east -- Gods of the gap: a world mythology -- Artgods
Summary Ireland's Immortals tells the story of one of the world's great mythologies. The first account of the gods of Irish myth to take in the whole sweep of Irish literature in both the nation's languages, the book describes how Ireland's pagan divinities were transformed into literary characters in the medieval Christian era--and how they were recast again during the Celtic Revival of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A lively narrative of supernatural beings and their fascinating and sometimes bizarre stories, Mark Williams's comprehensive history traces how these gods - known as the Tuatha De Danann - have shifted shape across the centuries, from Iron Age cult to medieval saga to today's young-adult fiction. We meet the heroic Lug; the Morrigan, crow goddess of battle; the fire goddess Brigit, who moonlights as a Christian saint; the mist-cloaked sea god Manannan mac Lir; and the ageless fairies who inspired J.R.R. Tolkien's immortal elves. Medieval clerics speculated that the Irish divinities might be devils, angels, or enchanters. W.B. Yeats invoked them to reimagine the national condition, while his friend George Russell beheld them in visions and understood them to be local versions of Hindu deities. The book also tells how the Scots repackaged Ireland's divine beings as the gods of the Gael on both sides of the sea--and how Irish mythology continues to influence popular culture far beyond Ireland
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Mythology, Celtic -- Ireland.
Ireland -- Religion -- History.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1400883326 (electronic bk.)
9781400883325 (electronic bk.)