A sweeping history of Ireland's native gods, from Iron Age cult and medieval saga to the Celtic Revival and contemporary fiction
Ireland's Immortals tells the story of one of the world's great mythologies. The first account of the gods of Irish myth to take in the whole sweep of Irish literature in both the nation's languages, the book describes how Ireland's pagan divinities were transformed into literary characters in the medieval Christian era-and how they were recast again during the Celtic Revival of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A lively narrative of supernatural beings and their fascinating and sometimes bizarre stories, Mark Williams's comprehensive history traces how these gods-known as the Tuatha De Danann-have shifted shape across the centuries. We meet the Morrigan, crow goddess of battle; the fire goddess Brigit, who moonlights as a Christian saint; the fairies who inspired J.R.R. Tolkien's elves; and many others. Ireland's Immortals illuminates why these mythical beings have loomed so large in the world's imagination for so long.