Talland Étair: A Critical Edition with Introduction, Translation, Textual Notes, Bibliography and Vocabulary.

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This book published in October 2005 is a revised version of Ó Dónaill’s doctoral thesis, which was completed in July 2004. It was published as number IV in the Maynooth Medieval Irish Texts series which aims to cater for a broad readership, from students of Medieval Irish to accomplished scholars. Ó Dónaill’s edition of Talland Étair seeks to improve greatly on the previous edition of the prose sections by Whitley Stokes (1887), and that of the long roscad by Margaret Dobbs (1949), by treating the text as a whole and by providing a critical edition which reappraises the extant manuscript evidence in light of the many advances made in our understanding of Medieval Irish since the preceding works were published. The current work makes available for the first time a diplomatic edition of the Harleian 5280 copy of the tale which contains some otherwise unattested forms, as well as a fresh reading of the Book of Leinster copy. The textual notes section of the book is structured in such a way as to bring the attested readings, the restored and normalised text, and the relevant notes together in one place for the ease of the reader, this follows the method adopted in number I in the series. The date of composition of the tale is considered in the introduction, with a date in the latter half of the Old Irish period being established. Ó Dónaill also analyses here the structure and make up of the tale and he argues strongly against the theory put forward by Frank O’Connor in The Backward Look that the tale as it has come down to us, is ‘the work of a storyteller suffering from acute schizophrenia’ referring to what he saw as the disjointed appearance of the various compositional styles employed in the tale.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNational University of Ireland
Number of pages190
ISBN (Print)0 901519 41 3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2005


  • Talland Étair Siege of Howth Book of Leinster Ulster Cycle Athairne Aithirne Harley Harleian 5280 Caoimhín Ó Dónaill


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