Category Archives: Celtic Scholar’s Reviews and Opinions

The Bell Beaker Transition in Europe

Full Title: The Bell Beaker Transition in Europe – Mobility and Local Evolution During the 3rd Millennium BC.

Editors: Maria Pilar Prieto Martínez and Laure Salanova

Publisher: Oxbow Books

Review: This text brings together 17 articles that were initially presented in the 15th International Bell Beaker Conference “From Atlantic to Ural”. It was organized in May 2011 in Spain. The theme for the conference was “Could the circulation of objects or ideas and the mobility of artisans explain the unprecedented uniformity of the material culture observed throughout the whole of Europe?” Continue reading…

Playing the Hero

Full Title: Playing the Hero – Reading the Irish Saga Táin Bó Cúailnge

Author: Ann Dooley

Review: I have never been utterly confused by a book as much as I have been confused by this one. I don’t know if it is because the author like to complicate things, or it is the subject matter, or it is just above my pay grade. Continue reading…

Tracing the Indo-Europeans

Full Title: Tracing the Indo-Europeans – New Evidence from Archaeology and Historical Linguistics.

Edited by: Brigit Anette Olsen, Thomas Olander, and Kristian Kristiansen

Synopsis: Recent developments in aDNA has reshaped our understanding of later European prehistory, and at the same time also opened up for more fruitful collaborations between archaeologists and historical linguists. Continue reading…

The Otherworld Voyage

Full Title: The Otherworld Voyage In Early Irish Literature – An Anthology of Criticism

Editor: Jonathan M. Wooding

Review: The idea for this book came during a conference at Maynooth in 1995. The attendees noted the need for a guide to Hiberno-Latin and early Irish voyage literature. They wanted a work of reference for the subject, because this kind of work was not yet available. This text is a selection of past and present criticism concerning … Continue reading…

The Wisdom of the Outlaw

Title: The Wisdom of the Outlaw: The Boyhood Deeds of Finn in Gaelic Narrative Tradition.

Author: Joseph Falaky Nagy

Review: It took forever to get my hands on a copy of this book and even then it was lightly used. Still it was better than waiting for a new edition that never materialized. Continue reading…

Hospitality In Medieval Ireland

Title: Hospitality in Medieval Ireland 900 – 1500
Author: Catherine Marie O’Sullivan
Pages: 272 including Appendix, Bibliography, and Index.

Synopsis: Hospitality was one of the most important social institutions and cultural customs in medieval Ireland. The fundamental principles governing the provision of hospitality were rooted in both the secular and religious traditions of Irish culture, and were represented in both the public and private spheres of Irish life. Continue reading…

The Great Queens

Full Title: The Great Queens – Irish Goddesses from the Morrígan to Cathleen ní Houlihan
Series: Irish Literary Studies 34
Review: The Introduction discussed the background of the Irish language and the stories the author is talking about the rest of the book. Part One, which is made up of two chapters, discusses … Continue reading…

Gablánach in Scélaigecht

Full Title: Gablánach in Scélaigecht – Celtic Studies in Honor of Ann Dooley

Editors: Sarah Sheehan, Joanne Findon and Westley Follet

Synopsis: This book celebrates the career of Ann Dooley, one of Canada’s most eminent Celtic medievalists. Dooley’s colleagues at the University of Toronto, her former doctoral students, and some of the most prominent scholars in medieval Celtic studies honor her work with Continue reading…

Ireland and the Grail

Full Title: Ireland and the Grail

Author: John Carey

Synopsis: This is the first book-length study of the origins of the Grail legend to have been undertaken by a specialist in medieval Irish literature. Drawing on a detailed reexamination of the relevant texts in Irish, Welsh, Latin and French, extensive sections of which are presented in new translations, the author argues that the roots of the Grail legend are to be sought in the lost Old Irish manuscript known as the Book of Druimm Snechtai.

Review: So this book has been staring me in the face and on my To Be Read list since October 2012. Yep it has been waiting its turn patiently since then and the main reason for that is that Continue reading…

Manannan Mac Lir

**I can’t seem to get my fada to work on this iPad so be aware that there is a fada on the last “a” in Manannan.

Full Title: Pagan Portals: Manannan Mac Lir Meeting the Celtic God of Wave and Wonder

Author: Morgan Daimler

Synopsis: The sea is a powerful, driving force for many people, a source of sustenance as well as danger. It is no surprise that Manannan, the Celtic God of the sea, should be an important figure but one who is also as ambiguous as the element he is associated with: a trickster, a magic worker, an advisor and a warrior. In this book you will get to know the many faces of Manannan, called the son of the ocean, and learn of his important place in mythology and the pivotal role he plays in many events.

Continue reading…