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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Celtic Tales, Told to the Children » User review

Sad tales not fit for children

  • Oct 15, 2010
Rating:
+1
There are three tales in this short volume, none really fit for children, for all are sad stories, as the author himself recognizes. The number three occurs in each of the tales frequently. Each is filled with magic. Each has some resemblance to biblical tales. Each has a woman who is wise or very decisive, who precipitates the events. Each concerns a woman who focuses foolishly on who she loves. Each ends with the death of the tale's hero.

In the first legend, The Star-eyed Deirdre, a wise man predicts to the king that a female child will be born who would be more beautiful than any other girl, but she would bring ruin the his kingdom. The king is unafraid. When the child is born, he orders that she be raised in a hut far from other people, especially men, because, he says, he intends to marry the beauty. But Deirdre, for such is her name, hears about a very handsome man, desires him, and finds a way to marry him. The king is outraged and is determined to get Deirdre for himself.

The second tale The Four White Swans concerns a step-mother who feels that her husband is neglecting her because of his love for his four children. She transforms her husband's children into swans and curses them to live three cycles of three hundred years, the last two in terrible conditions. They will only be delivered when certain events occur at the end of the nine hundred years.

The third story Dermat and Grania is about a king's daughter who rejects all suitors. But one day messengers bring her a marriage proposal from another king. She accepts the messenger's suit without thinking, as if she spoke in her sleep. When the king comes to claim her, she realizes her mistake and falls in love with one of his heroes. The two race together from the palace, and the king is determined to get her back.

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About the reviewer
Israel Drazin ()
Ranked #66
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of twenty books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four … more
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The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Social Science / Folklore
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ISBN-10: 115359482X
ISBN-13: 978-1153594820
Author: Louey Chisholm
Publisher: General Books LLC

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