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19 - Mongán's Metamorphosis: Compert Mongáin ocus Serc Duibe Lacha do Mongán, a Later Mongán Tale

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2013

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Summary

Compert Mongáin ocus Serc Duibe Lacha do Mongán (The Birth of Mongán and Mongán's Love for Dub Lacha – or Dub Lacha's Love for Mongán) belongs to the broad category of narrative Alan Bruford termed ‘Romantic Tales’, encompassing in his view ‘all the late medieval and later romances found in Irish manuscripts from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries and the related folktales’. The earliest copy is contained in the Book of Fermoy, written for David Mór son of Maurice Roche in the middle of the fifteenth century, and it was in Bruford's view among the best of the Romantic tales produced at a time when ‘Irish poets and scribes enjoyed the patronage of a powerful Irish-speaking aristocracy of mixed Norman and Irish descent’. Notwithstanding this, unlike other contemporary compositions which enjoyed widespread popularity in the seventeenth century and later, as far as post-classical transmission is concerned, our tale survives in a solitary copy written in Munster about the year 1811 by Seághan Mac Mathghamhna and entitled Tóruigheacht Duibhe Lacha Láimhe Ghile ‘The Pursuit of Dub Lacha of the White Hand’.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2011

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