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Otherworld Women in Early Irish Literature

208 pages
Amsterdam University Press
In early Ireland, there were many names for what scholars have dubbed the ‘Otherworld’: the Plain of Delights, the Land of Youth, the Land of Promise, and more. Many of the myths and legends from this period involve an encounter between a hero and a woman from this Otherworld, with sufficient frequency to form a distinct theme within the literature. This book examines the particularities and consequences of these otherworldly encounters, attending in particular to the question of gender and the social dynamics at work. Five stories purportedly from the lost book Cín Dromma Snechta receive detailed analysis, alongside material from other sources, in order to reconstruct the mindset of the early Irish who told these stories about the Otherworld and their views about women in general.
Author Bio
Dr. Heather C. Key is a scholar of early medieval Ireland and its literature. Her writings have appeared in Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, Oenach, and Cosmos.