Tales Until Dawn


Tales Until Dawn

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Joe Neil MacNeil held in his memory a wealth of Gaelic folktales, learned in his youth during the early years of the twentieth century at Cape Breton. For a period of over ten years, he told his tales to John Shaw, a specialist in Celtic folklore and fluent Gaelic speaker, who recorded, transcribed, edited and translated them into English. This book presents a large and wide-ranging selection of these translations: folktales, anecdotes, proverbs, expressions, rhymes, superstitions and games. All variations of the genre are represented, including a fragment from the Ulster Cycle, some items from the Fenian cycle, hero and wonder tales, fairy and witch lore, romantic tales, tales of cleverness, 'numbskull' stories, animal tales and tall tales. Joe Neil MacNeil also describes his early years in a Gaelic-speaking rural community where story-telling was a basic element of community life. He explains how he learned the tales and the customs and practices associated with their telling. He also introduces the families and individuals who were custodians of the tales. John Shaw's introduction outlines Joe's tradition and its place within the world of the European Gaelic story-teller.

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