General Editors of the Coole Edition: T.R.Henn CBE and Colin Smythe
With an introduction by Elizabeth Coxhead
21.6 x 13.8 cm. ISBN: 978-0-901072-36-8
Visions & Beliefs in the West of Ireland has been a classic among folklore collections since its first publication in 1920. Lady Gregory started collecting the stories from local people in Clare and West Galway in the 1890s, and in the early years was often accompanied on her trips by W.B.Yeats. Both found the tales a valuable source for their work. Originally intended as a joint project, the two volume collection (here published as a single book) finally appeared under Lady Gregory's name, but Yeats provided notes and two essays, `Witches and Wizards and Irish Folk-Lore' and `Swedenborg, Mediums & the Desolate Places', both of which appear here.
Many aspects of the supernatural are presented, and there are stories about seers, healers, charms, banshees, fairy forts, the evil eye – this is a treasure trove of west Irish folk-beliefs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Elizabeth Coxhead, who died in 1979, was a journalist, critic, broadcaster and novelist. She was also the author of Lady Gregory, A Literary Portrait (1961, revised 1966), the first book to be published exclusively about Lady Gregory, and Daughters of Erin (1965, republished 1979). which contains biographies of five leading women of the Irish Literary Revival period, Maude Gonne, Constance Markievicz, Sarah Purser, and Sally (Sarah) and Molly Allgood.