Gods and Fighting Men
Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha de Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland

Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha de Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland

£8.99 pbk reprinting

General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe

With a Foreword by Daniel Murphy

ISBN: 978-0-901072-37-5
21.6 x 13.8 cm.      370 pp.  1976  paperback edition of the third volume of the Coole Edition of Lady Gregory's works, published in 1970

A collection of Irish myths and legends collected at the beginning of the century by Lady Gregory. Introduced by W.B. Yeats, this work is of enormous cultural influence. Includes stories of Lugh, Mananaan, the Children of Lir, Tuatha de Danaan, Fin MacCumhal, the Fianna, Oisin, and Diarmuid and Grania.

Gods and Fighting Men was first published in 1904, two years after Cuchulain of Muirthemne, and complements that work. It contains the other mythological histories of early Ireland, the stories of Lugh, of Manannan, the Children of Lir, the coming of the Tuatha de Danaan, as well as those that deal with Oisin, Finn MacCumhal, the Fianna and their exploits, and Diarmuid and Grania.

Lady Gregory collected the stories from many original sources, and in translating them from the early Irish and putting them down in ‘Kiltartanese’ (English with Gaelic syntax), a style called after the townland close to her home Coole Park, where such language was common, she created a unified group of tales that – with Cuchulain of Muirthemne – made a greater impact on people’s appreciation of the wealth and strength of Irish mythology than any other similar work.

Their influence was increased by the Prefaces that the poet W. B. Yeats wrote for each volume, praising their contents. In the Preface to this volume Yeats claimed that when children ‘imagine a country for themselves, it is always a country where one can wander without aim, and where one can never know from one place what another will be like, or know from one day’s adventure what may meet one with tomorrow’s sun. I had wished to become a child again that I might find this book, that not only tells one of such a country, but is fuller than any other book that tells of heroic life, of the childhood that is all folklore, dearer to me than all the books of the western world.’ It is not surprising that Yeats used Lady Gregory’s versions of the tales for many of his plays.

Gods and Fighting Men and Cuchulain of Muirthemne are two of the most important works to have come out of Ireland in the opening years of the twentieth century, not only for their influence on others, but because here, for the first time, readable versions of the Irish myths were made available to the general public. The two books have since then introduced generations of new readers to these great tales.

This edition contains all Lady Gregory’s final corrections for the book, Yeats’s Preface and a foreword by the late Daniel J. Murphy, Professor Emeritus of English Literature, Baruch College, City University of New York.

The cover design is by Jim Fitzpatrick.


Dedication to the Members of the Irish Literary Society of New York. Signed Augusta Gregory
Foreword by Daniel Murphy
Preface. Signed W.B.Yeats
Book I. The Coming of the Tuatha de Danaan
The Fight with the Firbolgs – The Reign of Bres
Book II. Lugh of the Long Hand
The Coming of Lugh – The Sons of Tuireann – The Great Battle of Magh Tuireadh – The Hidden House of Lugh
Book III. The Coming of the Gael
The Landing – The Battle of Tailltin
Book IV. The Ever-Living Living Ones
Bodb Dearg – The Dagda – Angus Og – The Morrigu – Aine – Aoibhell – Midhir and Etain – Manannan – Manannan at Play – His Call to Bran – His Three Calls to Cormac – Cliodhna’s Wave – His Call to Connla –Tadg in Manannan’s Islands – Laegaire in the Happy Plain
Book V. The Fate of The Children of Lir

Book I. Finn, Son of Cumhal
The Coming of Finn – Finn’s Household – Birth of Bran – Oisin’s Mother – The Best Men of the Fianna
Book II. Finn’s Helpers
The Lad of the Skins – Black, Brown, and Grey – The Hound – Red Ridge
Book III. The Battle of the White Strand
The Enemies of Ireland – Cael & Credhe (an earlier version was published in The Green Sheaf, no.5, 1903) – Conn Crither – Glas, Son of Dremen – The Help of the Men of Dea – The March of the Fianna – The First Fighters – The King of Ulster’s Son – The High King’s Son – The King of Lochlann and his Sons – Labran’s Journey – The Great Fight – Credhe’s Lament
Book IV. Huntings and Enchantments
The King of Britain’s Son – The Cave of Ceiscoran – Donn, Son of Midhir – The Hospitality of Cuanna’s House – Cat-Heads and Dog-Heads – Lomna’s Head – Ilbrec of Ess Ruadh – The Cave of the Cruachan – The Wedding at Conn Slieve – The Shadowy One – Finn’s Madness – The Red Woman – Finn and the Phantoms – The Pigs of Angus – The Hunt of Slieve Cuilinn
Book V. Oisin’s Children
Book VI. Diarmuid
Birth of Diarmuid – How Diarmuid got his Love-Spot – The Daughter of King Under-Wave – The Hard Servant – The House of the Quicken Trees
Book VII. Diarmuid and Grania
The Flight of Teamhair – The Pursuit – The Green Champions – The Wood of Dubhros – The Quarrel – The Wanderers – Fighting and Peace – The Boar of Beinn Gulbain
Book VIII. Cnoc-an-Air
Taile, Son of Treon – Meargach’s Wife – Ailne’s Revenge
Book IX. The Wearing Away of the Fianna
The Quarrel with the Sons of Morna – Death of Goll – The Battle of Gabhra
Book X. The End of the Fianna
The Death of Bran – The Call of Oisin – The Last of the Great Men
Book XI. Oisin and Patrick
Oisin’s Story – Oisin in Patrick’s House – The Arguments – Oisin’s Lament
The Apology
The Age and Origin of the Stories of the Fianna
The Authorities
The Pronunciation
The Place Names

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