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Cover for Deirdre
Isbn: 978-87-2829-091-0
Publisher: Saga Egmont
Novels Fantasy & Sci-Fi Historic facsimile Romance
Accessible since: January 2024



The story of a young girl raised in isolation in preparation to marry the King of Ulster sounds at first a little outdated.

That is until you call it what it is - an arranged marriage and child abuse.

These are themes that continue to exist and they give 'Deirdre' a resonance in the 21st century.

The girl at the heart of the story eventually falls in love with a young man and they run away to Scotland - cue much relief.

There is a nasty twist in the tale, however, when she is lured back to Ireland many years later.

The story, which is based on Irish myth and legend, has echoes of the 1993 movie 'The Piano', starring Holly Hunter and Harvey Keitel, in which a mute Scottish woman was sold into marriage by her father to a frontiersman in New Zealand.

James Stephens (1880-1950) was an Irish novelist and poet who based many of his works of myth and legend from Ireland's past.

Life imitated art when he created his own myth - claiming to have been born on the same day as literary legend James Joyce ('Ulysses', 'Finnegans Wake').

His father died when he was two and his mother remarried, leading to his being committed to a boys' school when caught begging on the streets.

During time as a solicitor and a registrar at the National Gallery of Ireland, Stephens took up writing.

He is best known for 'Irish Fairy Tales' and 'The Crock of Gold', while he also wrote an influential account of the 1916 Easter Rising, describing the death of his friend Thomas MacDonagh.

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