Auto boutiques-francophones Simple and secure cloud storage SmartSaver Cyber Monday Deals Week in Home & Kitchen Kindle Music Deals Store SGG Tools
The Táin: From the Irish epic Táin Bó Cuailnge and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25.
Temporarily out of stock.
Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
The Tain: From the Irish ... has been added to your Cart
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: **SHIPPED FROM UK** We believe you will be completely satisfied with our quick and reliable service. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!
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 all 3 images

The Tain: From the Irish epic Tain Bo Cuailnge Paperback – Sep 1 2002

13 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 322.18
"Please retry"
CDN$ 24.95
CDN$ 9.54 CDN$ 3.26 Books Gift Guide

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Tain: From the Irish epic Tain Bo Cuailnge
  • +
  • The Mabinogion
  • +
  • Early Irish Myths and Sagas
Total price: CDN$ 48.57
Buy the selected items together

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (Sept. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192803735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192803733
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 2.3 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #203,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Publisher

31 b/w brush drawings throughout

About the Author

Thomas Kinsella is a poet and translator. Among his publications are Blood and Family and From Centre City.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
First Sentence
THE POETS of Ireland one day were gathered around Senchan Torpeist, to see if they could recall the 'Tain Bo Cuailnge' in its entirety. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ on Aug. 4 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the story of a 'tain' or cattle raid perpetrated on Ulster by Ailill and Medb, king and queen of Connacht, along with their allies from all parts of Ireland. It is arguably the earliest surviving epic of Ireland's pre-Christian heritage. The centerpiece of the story is the great feat of 17 year old Cuchulain, who single handedly halts the massed armies intent on seizing the brown bull of Cuailnge (and a tidy portion of the wealth of Ulster as well.
Due to a curse, the men of Ulster are doomed to suffer severe bouts of pain whenever they are faced with great difficulties. So, as Ailill and Medb approach Ulster, only Cuchulain can stand and fight. The 'Tain' and its peripheral tales are the story of Ulster's defense, first by Cuchulain, and finally by the massed men of Ulster, risen from their pangs. Poet Thomas Kinsella's telling of this story starts with the early history of Ulster and then introduces Cuchulain, who will be the hero of many of Ulster's legends.
This is a remarkable effort from a literary standpoint. Whether by Kinsella's art or the nature of the original language of the text, the "Tain bo Cuailnge" is one of the most accessible of the old epics. The language lacks the overblown pretensions of many translations, remaining clear and understandable whether it is prose or verse. Kinsella himself states that this is a translation, not a retelling, but the introduction leaves some doubt about the precise meaning of 'translation.' In any case, Kinsella's efforts have made the story come to life, bringing home beautifully both the glory and tragedy of a conflict that must have decimated the fighting men of an entire country.
The Irish of the "Tain's" writing loved making lists. Lists of heroes, lists of weapons, and lists of places abound.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ed Macauley ( on April 22 1998
Format: Paperback
Kinsella does an excellent job of bringing the ancient epic to life. You can almost imagine an old Irish bard reciting the tale in front of a peat fire. Kinsella includes not only the Tain, but stories leading up to the Tain and a brief story about how the Tain was once again learned:
"If this your royal rock
were your own self mac Roich
halted here with sages
searching for a roof
Cuailnge we'd recover
plain and perfect Fergus."

The above was spoken by the poet Muirgen at Fergus's grave, and summoned the spirit of Fergus to... Oh, just buy it and read it.

The epic of the Tain is starting to creep back into our lives. Only recently a software company calle Bungie included many Irish myths as a foundation for one of their most popular games to date. The Tain is also once again being performed by storytellers and it's an excellent tale either oral or written. On a side note, the pronunciation guide is a bit lacking, you'll have to do some leg work to get the proper pronuciation of some Irish words and names.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The Ulster Cycle is a group of tales associated with the northeast of Ireland and the Ta/in Bo/ Cuailgne is the core of the cycle. The tales are preserved in manuscripts of the twelfth-century and later, but they look back to a pre-Christian culture dominated by warriors who counted their wealth in cows. Raiding your neighbors was one way to acquire more cows. In the Ta/in Bo/ Cuailgne, one group, the Connachta, tries to obtain a very special bull, a transformed human, by raiding another group, the Ulaid. In the process, gods, goddesses, kings, queens, seers, and heroes of every description become involved, and a raid turns into a monumental battle.
This is not a retelling or a novelized version of the Ulster cycle tales. Rather this is a translation of an ancient saga equivalent to the Odyssey, Iliad, or Mahabarata. Years ago, not long after this book was first printed, I had the good fortune to hear Thomas Kinsella, an eminent modern Irish poet, describe how in translating the Ta/in, he combined his own vision with expert input from scholars of the ancient language. The voice in this translation is that of Kinsella, but it echoes the voices of all those who came before him. Having studied the ancient language and texts myself, I feel that Kinsella has produced a work of poetic art that is nevertheless faithful to the meaning and spirit of the stories. The beautiful semi-abstract images by Le Brocquy are not really illustrations but accompanying art, demonstrating how the cycle of Ulster tales, which has inspired Irish artists through various eras, continues to kindle the creative fire in those who read and hear them.
If you are interested in learning about pre-Christian Irish--or Celtic--tradition, the Ta/in is indispensable reading.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The Tain is probably beyond dispute the most important piece of Old Irish literature, perhaps even of all literature in the Irish language. It has waited a long time to have a really definitive English translation; previous versions are either paraphrases or are so bowdlerized as to be almost unreadable. Kinsella is never turgid or sentimental in the nineteenth century sense, which is so true of many of the older reworkings of Irish literature.
As one other reviewer noted, it used to be that if you wanted a good rendering of Old Irish you almost had to turn to German translations. The tide is turning, and much good material is now available in English. My only complaint about this version is that I would have liked to see more notes. But then admittedly Mr. Kinsella was seeking to provide a version that was literary but not recondite. If you're interested in Irish literature this book belongs in your library.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most recent customer reviews