The Red Branch Tales (Ulster Cycle) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Red Branch Tales Paperback – Mar 4 2004


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
CDN$ 147.37 CDN$ 124.00

Join Amazon Student in Canada


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; First Edition edition (March 4 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312870183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312870188
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 14 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 345 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,728,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This tale is found in The Book of Leinster (c. 1160) and is only one of the stories that explain how the Red Branch was established. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
1
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
THE RED BRANCH TALES are stories of the Ulster Irishmen. The Medieval Christianized tales have their basis in the oral traditions of the Pagan Irish Celts. Basically, they cover the building of Emain Macha, the main city and the rise of Conchobar Mac Nessa until just after his death. Conchobar is kind of like an Irish King Arthur (Arthur was a Romanized British Celt Warlord if he was anything but a legend. Forgive my doubt.) but without the genteel chivarly put on the Arthurian legends by later generations. Conchobar was the king that Deirdre of the Sorrows was meant to marry before she set her sights on Naisi, but her story is not in here as the Eickhoff has set it apart in another book THE SORROWS. However, he does give us another version of the pivotal The Cattle Raid of Cooley, which he covers in THE RAID from a different source. Among the other characters you will encounter are Queen Maeve (Mabh), Cuchulain, & Fergus Mac Roich. Although these read like fairy tales and have supernatural elements in them, they are earthy and violent. Think Conan the Barbarian, not Disney's Snow White. This along with their lists of names make it unsuitable for anyone under a mature 12. The Fragments were intiguing, hinting at things that we have lost. I especially enjoyed the small tidbit called On Werewolves. Eickhoff also has a large section of notes that explain details and ideas to the reader. If you are interested in entering the mind of the ancient Irish, these are the stories for you. I have read various versions of these tales and never quite got the stories, never quite understood the mindset of these people, my ancestors. Here the translator has done an excellent job of giving the ancient Irish warrior back his swords and balls in a context that makes sense.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
The thirty stories that make up THE RED BRANCH TALES come from twelfth century Ireland translated into modern English with the beautiful lyrical prose that Dr. Randy Lee Eickhoff has brought to all his previous translations. The tales provide common themes of life among the various clans with the title providing an obvious clue as to what to expect. The stories vary in content with many dealing with heroism, war, and romance.
The anthology is entertaining though like much of medieval literature, formal language is sprinkled with baroque eloquence and comically lewd capers. Also included are "Fragments" of incomplete tales and proverbs. As usual Dr. Eickhoff provides a marvelous collection, that will be of interest to English majors and those readers who recently savored The Canterbury Tales or Beowulf.
Harriet Klausner
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
beautiful lyrical translation March 1 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The thirty stories that make up THE RED BRANCH TALES come from twelfth century Ireland translated into modern English with the beautiful lyrical prose that Dr. Randy Lee Eickhoff has brought to all his previous translations. The tales provide common themes of life among the various clans with the title providing an obvious clue as to what to expect. The stories vary in content with many dealing with heroism, war, and romance.
The anthology is entertaining though like much of medieval literature, formal language is sprinkled with baroque eloquence and comically lewd capers. Also included are "Fragments" of incomplete tales and proverbs. As usual Dr. Eickhoff provides a marvelous collection, that will be of interest to English majors and those readers who recently savored The Canterbury Tales or Beowulf.
Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
marvelous retelling of Ulster myths Jan. 7 2006
By Siobhan Olaoghaire Sannes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
More of a retelling rather than a strict translation, this book is nevertheless researched thoroughly by the author. Covering many of the stories of the Ulster Cycle of myths, there are stories here that I actually hadn't heard before, as I am sure will be the case for many other readers. Overall, a great book, and not to be missed by someone interested in Irish and Celtic mythology.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A fabulous introduction to Celtic Irish culture and mythology Jan. 24 2013
By cineadbrewco - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What were the Irish like before Oliver Cromwell? Why do the Irish insist on drinking and fighting at every turn? Why do the Irish believe in faeries? What is an "honor price"?

This book is a collection of stories that were told by bards and probably by parents to their Gaelic-speaking children for centuries. These are the stories that defined the Celtic culture of the Irish before the English succeeded in stamping out most of the Gaelic influence in Ireland. That cultural identity is now making a come-back and Gaelic is taking hold again on the Emerald Isle. These stories, translated in beautiful lyrical prose, share the honorable burning spirit that carried the Celts from continental Europe across the waters to Ireland, where they encountered the magical Sidhe (the faeries), the raiding Vikings, and the scarcity of land characteristic of island life.

These are the Irish tales of chivalry and Brithonic law rivaling the era of Camelot and King Arthur in England (themselves probably based on Celtic myths). I particularly enjoyed the mytho-historical stories of intrigue, betrothal, murder, and cattle-rustling. The boy hero, Cúchulainn, is a staple of heroic mythology, rendered with magical detail and epic proportion in these tales (slaying giants is standard fare). I found the Brythonic concepts of "honor price" and the boasting matches which resulted in the "hero's portion" at the king's table quite fascinating. And then there's the seamless (if dubious) integration of the Other world (the Sidhe) into the real world.

For me these stories represent an aspect of Irish Celtic culture worth being proud of, in contrast to the modern idea of Ireland as perhaps uneducated drinkers and fighters. These stories shows that the Irish have always been drinkers and fighters but these activities were fundamentally attached to a sense of dignity and social honor. After all, who is an honorable Celt who can't hold his or her mead at a banquet? Who is an honorable Celt who does not defend his family and property by the might of his arm and the strength of his wit and charm?

I like to think of this book as composed of stories that were told around the campfires and in the inns by bards before the reduction of the Gaelic tongues by the English. I hope they will continue to be told. They hold a mystery and value beyond simple mythology. They are the key to the ancestors of the Irish.

Randy has rendered the Gaelic beautifully into English and provided valuable footnotes discussing unfamiliar concepts. Still, you may find it helpful to research some concepts of Brithonic law as you read- especially honor price and the notion of a single-year contract marriage.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
AT LAST!!!! Nov. 29 2004
By H. Espy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Finally, translations of the corpus of medieval Irish literature are available!!!I have hunted for years to find little bits and pieces of the texts that Eichoff has so brilliantly brought together. I can't wait to get the rest of the series. Good job!

Product Images from Customers

Search


Feedback