Standish O’Grady’s Cuculain
A Critical Edition
Edited by Gregory Castle and Patrick Bixby
A concise, abridged version of the story of Cuculain, the central figure in
Standish O’Grady’s History of Ireland, along with an introduction, glossary,
and critical essays, demonstrating its significance for the continued
reimagining of Ireland’s past, present, and future.
"An immensely useful and long-needed critical resource which
combines an edition of Standish O’Grady’s influential writings
on the heroic figure of Cuculain with an excellent scholarly
apparatus."—Margaret Kelleher, chair of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama,
University College Dublin
"This [edition] makes available one of the
seminal sources of the Irish Literary Revival.
Its value is greatly enhanced by a
number of essays which relate O’Grady’s
treatment of Cuculain to the scholarly and
antiquarian sources on which O’Grady
drew."—Patrick Maume, researcher for the Royal Irish
Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography
"O’Grady’s work opens discussion into
English literature, historiography, and political
writing at large, which makes this
volume provocative and useful for multiple
audiences."—Nicholas Allen, professor of English,
University of Georgia
Gregory Castle is professor of English at Arizona State University. He is the author of numerous
books, including Modernism and the Celtic Revival.
Patrick Bixby is associate professor and director of graduate studies at Arizona State University.
He is the author of Samuel Beckett and the Postcolonial Novel.
Book Description »[Close »]
Between 1878 and 1881, Standish O’Grady published a three-volume History
of Ireland that simultaneously recounted the heroic ancient past of the
Irish people and helped to usher in a new era of cultural revival and political
upheaval. At the heart of this history was the figure of Cuculain, the great
mythic hero who would inspire a generation of writers and revolutionaries,
from W. B. Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory to Patrick Pearse. Despite the
profound influence O’Grady’s writings had on literary and political culture in
Ireland, they are not as well known as they should be, particularly in view of the
increasingly global interest in Irish culture. This critical edition of the Cuculain
legend offers a concise, abridged version of the central story in History of Ireland—the rise of the young warrior, his famous exploits in the Táin Bó Cualinge
(The Cattle Raid of Cooley), and his heroic death. Castle and Bixby’s edition
also includes a scholarly introduction, biography, timeline, glossary, editorial
notes, and critical essays, demonstrating the significance of O’Grady’s writing
for the continued reimagining of Ireland’s past, present, and future. Inviting a
new generation of readers to encounter this work, the volume provides the tools
necessary to appreciate both O’Grady’s enduring importance as a writer and
Cuculain’s continuing resonance as a cultural icon.
View other series books on Irish Studies.
6 x 9, 312 pages, 3 illustrations, glossary, notes