Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Brigit Book Reviews (2): List of Books to be Reviewed

To be honest, I'm a little uncertain about some of my categories--particular works might be as happy in one as in another--so use them as general guides only, to keep the picture a little clearer on the table, not as Ultimate Pronouncements in every case.

Books to be Reviewed

Picture books:
Brigid’s Cloak, Reg Keating (1997)
Brigid’s Cloak: An Ancient Irish Story, Bryce Milligan (2002)
The Life of Saint Brigid, Abbess of Kildare, Jane Meyer (2009)

(We need some goddess-oriented Brigidine picture books.)

Novels :
Brigit of Kildare, Ann Egan (2001) (novel/poetry)
Brigid of Kildare, Cindy Thomson (2006) (novel)
Brigid of Kildare, Heather Terrell (2010) (novel)

(I hope novelists start finding more unusual names for their
Brigit books; it’s getting a bit hard to tell them apart.)

Mention only:
Confessions of a Pagan Nun, Kate Horsley (2001) (novel)
Sister Fidelma series, Peter Tremayne/Peter Beresford Ellis (1994--) (novels)

St Brigit of the Mantle, Norah Kelly (1924) (play)
The Story Brought by Brigit by Lady Gregory (1924) (play)
Brigit of Kildare, Ann Egan (2001) (novel/poetry)
Brighid’s Runes, ed. Rachel Mica McCann (2008) (poetry)

Nonfiction: Popular (Saint):
Brigit, the Mary of the Gael”, from A Book of Saints and Wonders by Lady Gregory (1907)
Saint Brigid of Ireland, Alice Curtayne (1954)
Saint Bride, Iain MacDonald (1992)
Power of Raven, Wisdom of Serpent, Noragh Jones (1994)
Rekindling the Flame: a Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of Brigid of Kildare, Rita Minehan CSB (1999)
The Life of Saint Brigid, Anna Egan Smucker (2009)

Nonfiction: Popular (Neopagan):
Candlemas: Feast of Flames, Amber K and Azrael Arynn TK (2001)
“The Well of Her Memory” in Red-Haired Girl from the Bog, Patricia Monaghan (2003)
‘‘Imbolc—Brigit”, Alexei Kondratiev, in Devoted to You, Judy Harrow (2003)
Brighid’s Healing: Ireland’s Celtic Medicine Traditions, Gina McGarry (2005)
Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom, Erynn Rowan Laurie (2007)
Brigid: Goddess, Druidess and Saint, Brian Wright (2009)
Brighid and Me: Experiences with the Goddess, Hollee Swann, ed. (2010)

Nonfiction: Academic/Popular Academic:
By popular academic I mean books written in a scholarly
style for a general audience. These I can only observe as a
reader, not criticize as an expert.

The Serpent and the Goddess, Mary Condren (1989)
“Fire and the Arts” (etc) in Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature, Kim McCone (1990)
The Festival of Brigit, Séamas Ó Catháin (1995)
"Imbolc: A New Interpretation", by Phillip A. Bernhardt-House (pp 57-76) in Cosmos 18 (2002)
The Rites of Brigit, Goddess and Saint, Séan Ó Duinn (2005)
Landscape with Two Saints: How Genovefa of Paris and Brigit of Kildare Built Christianity in Barbarian Europe, Lisa M. Bitel (2009)
“Queering the Flame: Brigit, Flamekeeping, and Gender in Celtic Reconstructionist Pagan Communities”, by Erynn Rowan Laurie in The Well of Five Streams: Essays on Celtic Paganism (Immanion Press, projected release 2015) 17 pp.


Rowan said...

I am looking forward to the reviews and I bet there will be a lot of books be added to my wishlist.

Mael Brigde said...

I bet there will! I'm working away on the reviews now. Slow but steady... It's good to know you're waiting--someone to offer them to directly.

Unknown said...

I'm so happy to see you taking on this project!

I have read all of the books you list in the in the "Nonfiction: Popular (Neopagan)" and "Nonfiction: Academic and Academic/Popular" categories, except Lisa Bitel's book. I'm particularly looking forward to your review of that one, so I can decide whether it's worth the money. ;-)

I'm curious about the various Lives. I haven't read any of them in their entirety, just excerpts here and there. Which one(s) do you recommend?


~ Aster

Mael Brigde said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Aster. I can say briefly that Bitel's book is among my favourites. Bits are a slog but they provide underpinnings that lend so much more weight to the rest of it.

Bitel does examine the Lives--particularly the first two. She points out important differences; much of the wildly miraculous stuff doesn't appear until long after Brigit's death. The earlier Life by Cogitosus is much more plain. She discusses why these differences might arise--what the different authors hoped to achieve.

It's worth reading any you can get ahold of, and the Classics of Western Spirituality series' _Celtic Spirituality_ has the first, by Cogitosus, as well as the later "Irish Life" in their entirety, and Ultan's Hymn (possibly the earliest of the three).

Mael Brigde said...

By the way, you can get the Bethu Brigte online at CELTS: