i'm looking for a few titles (books) on women in Celtic culture who
challenged modern stereotypes. i'm a member of an all-womens' boxing
gym here in Albuquerque and though i'm aware of women like Grania
O'Malley I would be grateful if anyone out there knew of any book
titles on women like O'Malley and any other historical tracts about
women in Celtic culture i.e. woman warriors that I could purchase and
bring in to class. i am aware that Celtic women went into battle along
side their men and would like to bring evidence of that to my fellow
women boxers. Thanks in advance.
p.s. would also be interesed in a discussion of feminism as it applies
to women of Celtic heritage.
Sarah Lavelle Linehan
Grania, She-King of the Irish Seas, is about Grace O'Malley.
The Horse Goddess is also by Morgan Llywelyn.
Both are novels, but well worth reading. Good Luck!
I have only had the misfortune of reading two books by
Morgan Llywelyn and seeing her once in person. I'm afraid
I found bother her and her books objectionable, offensive
to the Irish way and history, and utter tripe.
"Grania, She-King of the Irish Seas". Well the name
speaks for itself. She completely romanticises the factual
tale of Granuail polarising things into good guys and
bad guys instead of the grey practical and pragmatic person
Grace O'Malley was. She blatantly inserts a California
neo-Pagan into a story set in the 16th Century! She even
gives it a happy ending instead of tying the tragedy of
her life to the tragedy of Ireland's failure to form a
national identity until too late.
"Red Branch" purports to be about Cu Chullain. However
the story is so mangled as to be unbeleivable. Here we have
in 100BC Cu Chullain wearing knotwork, a Viking influenced
art form from the Early Christian Era, and populates Ulster
with Shelia-na-gigs, artefacts from churches of the Middle
Ages. Cu Chulain doesn't get the pangs (Curse of Macha)
because he doesn't have a beard. He doesn't have a beard
because, well, he doesn't have a beard. NOT because he is
young, which was the original point. In fact, he is ANCIENT
by the time he dies. He is supposed to die at 17. However
Morgan can't accept that he fathers a son at 9 so s t r e t c h e s
the timeline. An incredible disservice to Ireland's greatest
Maeve, an incredibly cool woman, is reduced to a whining
petulant hysterical housewife. She did, after all, unite
Ireland against Ulster and she did, after all, win the
war. When Ireland chose a figure for its 1 pound note
they chose Maeve, not Cu Chullain (untill they dropped
Hearing her speak in person filled me with revulsion.
I found myself disagreeing with almost every statement.
Statements such as "The Celts had 40 words for freedom
and none for death." Bullshit! The Celts kept slaves,
that's why just how free you were was legally important.
"Cast your mind back to the older truer Ireland..." My
god! It was only really this century that the Irish have
been able to successfully channel the faction fighting
that has always been the bane of this country into
something constructive (sport).
The Celts in Ireland were a bunch of bloodthirsty
war mongerers. You only have to look at the number of
ring fortifications in Dingle to know that these weren't
a peaceful idealised people.
It does no good to sanitise your history. It should
be shown for what it is.
PS: If she is Irish, as she claims, why does she have an
American accent and a Welsh name?
Yes, yes, yes, but she is still a great, spellbinding writer. I don't agree
with most of what she says in her books, but I think of them as fantasy,
which they are. I just hope that readers don't believe every word she
writes. Challenge everything.
Caitlin 8^) don't e-mail me, i'm using my dad's account.
Try Nigel Tranter's "Price of a Princess" - like all his other books,