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Donegal Fairy Stories

by Seumas MacManus
edited by Joseph A. Greenleaf
cover art by John Quigley

ISBN-13 978-0954453008
ISBN-10 095445300X
   (printed book)

Seumas MacManus was born in Inver, County Donegal, Ireland, in the 1860’s. A native Irish speaker, he heard storytellers, or scéalaithe, tell these fairy stories at the hearth. Seumas lived to be nearly one hundred years old, but was in his thirties when he compiled Donegal Fairy Stories from the stories he'd heard at the hearths of his native Donegal as a child and young man. The stories would have been lost forever, had not Seumas translated them into English in the 1890’s. He published the original edition of Donegal Fairy Stories in 1900, in America, where Seumas then lived.

Thanks to his efforts, the ‘wee red man,’ the talking horses, the two- and three-headed giants, Prince Connal, Jack, Taig the Tailor, Manis the Miller and all the others live once more between these covers.

Joseph A. Greenleaf, of Malin Head, County Donegal, has taken Seumas’ original stories and has rewritten them in modern English without losing any of the original flavour or charm. They are now much more readable, ready for a new generation of Irish people and lovers of Irish stories to read aloud to their children and grandchildren.

This new edition retains all the character and fun of the original stories, without the archaic spelling and sentence structure, and is set in a modern typeface that is much more readable. For instance, in the story, `The Bee, the Harp, the Mouse and the Cockroach,' the `cockroach' was originally called a `bum-clock.' Since not too many people call a cockroach a `bum-clock' any longer, I have used the modern name. Other words whose meanings have either changed or been lost have had their understandable equivalents used instead.

The original line drawings by Frank Verbeck illustrating the 1900 edition in the original are now better than they were in the first edition, having been digitally enhanced and restored.

John Quigley’s original cover art, specially commissioned for Donegal Fairy Stories, shows a beautiful fairy beckoning other fairies as they fly at County Donegal’s Kilclooney Dolmen stones. John lives and works in the Inishowen Peninsula, in Carrowmenagh.

So, light the turf fire, fill your glass, pull up some wee creepie stools and read Donegal Fairy Stories. The years will fall away, and you’ll be flying over the castle walls, nine miles high. As Seumas would say, ‘Ciad and Dark Eye lived a long life and a happy one, and may you and I do the same.’

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Order Donegal Fairy Stories locally

If you wish, you can order this book from your local bookstore in North America and the UK,  although it is unlikely they will have it on the shelf.  Just tell them that it is a Print on Demand book distributed by both Ingram Books and Baker & Taylor and then give them the ISBN numbers listed above


Order Donegal Fairy Stories on-line

You can also purchase the printed book on-line from many on-line book sellers. For your convenience, we made a list of links which you can use. In addition, this book is carried by a number of other retailers on-line, so you should be able to find it at your favorite website.


Order Donegal Fairy Stories as a printed book 


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