Joynt: The Golden Legends Of The Gael

Pdf Joynt, Maud, The Golden Legends Of The Gael, Cork: The Talbot Press Ltd., 1925
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The Golden Legends Of The Gael by Maud Joynt is a collection of pagan Irish Celtic mythology and early Irish Christian tradition drawing from numerous manuscript sources. The first part covers both the Fenian and Ulster cycles which follow the adventures of Fionn and Cuchulainn respectively. The second part covers the traditions surrounding the coming of St. Patrick to Ireland, St. Brigid and St. Columcille and other early Irish Christian saints.

Joynt was a contemporary of William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet and other Gaelic revivalists who resurrected Gaelic mythology and Irish folklore to produce poems, plays and collections for publication. Joynt was a scholar who knew both Hindi and Sanskrit - a parent language of many European languages including the original Gaelic spoken by storytellers. She was also a Buddhist, vegetarian and feminist.

Her feminism influenced the characterisation of the various female deities and heroines in the collection such as Maeve, Deirdre, Grainne and Niamh of the Gold Hair. Joynt's beliefs were unconventional in Ireland dominated in the 19th century and 20th century by male orientated British imperialism and Irish nationalism and both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism which tended to subordinate women.The stories of Celtic goddesses and heroines published by scholars such as Joynt inspired many female Irish nationalists in republican organisations such as Cumman Na mBan during the Irish revolutionary period.

The popularisation of Celtic mythology in the late 19th century and 20th century Ireland also mimicked the publication of popular European folktales by the Brothers Grimm and popular British and American 'Mother Goose' fairytales and nursery ryhmes. Following Irish Independence generations of Irish school children were taught stories drawing from the scholarship of folklorists and researchers such as Joynt.


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