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In Ireland, interest in Irish country tales has been abundant, and folktales have been gathered with much care. In the archives of the Irish Folklore Commission in Dublin rest a million and a half manuscript pages of traditions taken directly from the lips of their tellers, writes Sean O'Sullivan. (1968:v)

Thomas C. Croker's Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland from 1825 was the first collection of oral tales assembled on the British Isles. He had compiled the legends on walking trips in Ireland. Sir Walter Scott and the brothers Grimm responded enthusiastically to the Fairy Legends, and the Grimms translated it within a year into German. Croker dedicated a second volume to Scott and a third to the Grimms.

The work continued, and extended from Irish to Celtic, English, and continental fairy traditions. The Grimms recognized these legends as counterparts to their Legends, which included peasant reports of spirit beings.

After the Fairy Legends, various writers on Irish country scenes and characters got published many collections of storylore. For example, Samuel Lover published Legends and Stories of Ireland, one series in 1831 and another in 1834.

The Irish poet and senator William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was one of those who compiled selections of Irish folktales and drew poetic inspiration from the folklore.

Then, a hundred years ago there were several times as many books of Irish fairytales and folktales and legends and humorous stories than those listed below. You can see for yourself in Stephen James Meredith Brown's Ireland in Fiction: A Guide to Irish Novels, Tales, Romances and Folk-lore (London: Maunsel and Co., Ltd.,1916:283-86).

Since the early 1900s, still more folklore works have been forthcoming in Ireland; many old stories have been recirculated, some have been told afresh, and yet more oral tales have been gathered and published too.


Irish folktales, fairy tales, Literature  

Anon. (Charles John Tibbits). Irish Fairy Tales: Folklore and Legends. London: Gibbings and Co., 1904.

Croker, Thomas Crofton, coll. Fairy Legends and Traditions.. E-text at Sacred Text. (1825).

Croker, Thomas. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (1st ed. Straker and Sons, 1825). London: John Murray, 1834.

Croker, Thomas. Fairy legends and traditions of the south of Ireland. Part 2. London: John Murray, 1828.

Croker, Thomas. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. Part III (1st ed. W. Swan Sonnenschein 1825). London: John Murray, 1828.

Croker, Thomas Crofton, coll., and Thomas Wright, ed. Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. New ed. London: William Tegg, 1870.

Croker, Thomas Crofton. Killarney legends: Arranged as a Guide to the Lakes. London: Henry Bohn, 1853.

Croker, Thomas Crofton, and R. Adolphus Lynch. Legends of the Lakes: Or, Sayings and Doings at Killarney. Vol. 2. London: Ebers, 1829.

Curtin, Jeremiah. Myths and Folk-lore of Ireland. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1911.

Danaher, Kevin. The Children's Book of Irish Folktales. Ill. Harold Berson. Blackrock, Dublin: Mercier Press, 1998.

Gantz, Jeffrey, tr. Tales of Cu Chulaind: Irish Heroic Myths.London: Penguin, 1996.

Glassie, Henry, ed. The Penguin Book of Irish Folktales. London: Penguin, 1987.

Graves, Alfred Perceval, red. The Irish Fairy Book. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1909.

Graves, Charles. Humours of Irish Life. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1915.

Harvey, William. Irish Life and Humour in Anecdote and Story. London: MacLaren and Co., 1906.

Jacobs, Joseph. Celtic Fairy Tales. London: David Nutt, 1892.

Jacobs, Joseph. More Celtic Fairy Tales. London: David Nutt, 1894.

Kennedy, Patrick, red. The Book of Modern Irish Anecdotes. London: George Routledge and Sons, 1872.

Lang, Andrew, ed. The Red Fairy Book. London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1890.

Larminie, William. West Irish Folk-tales and Romances. London: Elliot Stock, 1898.

Leamy, Edmond. Irish Fairy Tales. Dublin: M. H. Gill and Son, 1906.

Lover, Samuel. Legends and Stories of Ireland (First Series). Westminster: A Constable, 1899.

Lover, Samuel. Legends and Stories of Ireland (Second Series). Westminster: A Constable, 1899.

MacManus, Seumas. Donegal Fairy Stories. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page and Co., 1900.

MacManus, Seumas. In Chimney Corners: Merry Tales of Irish Folk Lore. New York: McClure, Phillips and Co., 1904.

Neeson, Eoin. The First Book of Irish Myths and Legends. Cork: Mercier, 1965.

Neeson, Eoin. The Second Book of Irish Myths and Legends. Cork: Mercier, 1966.

O'Donoghue, David James. The Humour of Ireland. London: The Walter Scott Publishing Co., 1908.

O'Hanlon, John. Irish Local Legends. Dublin: James Duffy, 1896.

O'Sullivan, Sean, red, oms. Folktales of Ireland. Paperback ed. London: The University of Chicago Press, 1968.

Stephens, James. Irish Fairy Tales. London: Macmillan and Co, 1920.

Wilde, Lady Francesca Speranza. Ancient Legends of Ireland. London: Ward and Downey, 1887.

Yeats, William Butler, ed. Irish Fairy Tales. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1892.

Young, Ella. Celtic Wonder-Tales Retold. Dublin: Maunsel and Co., 1910.

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