The Táin Bó Cuailnge, centre-piece of the eighth-century Ulster cycle of heroic tales, is Ireland's nearest approach to a great epic. It tells the story of a giant cattle-raid, the invasion of Ulster by the armies of Medb and Ailill, queen and king of Connacht, and their allies, seeking to carry off the great Brown Bull of Cuailnge. The hero of the tale is Cúchulainn, the Hound of Ulster, who single-handedly resists the invasion, whils Ulster's warriors lie sick.
Thomas Kinsella's translation is the first attempt to present a `living version' of the story, complete and unbowdlerized. It is based on the partial texts in two medieval manuscripts, and includes a group of related stories which prepare for the action of the Táin. Illustrated with 31 brush drawings by Louis le Brocquy and three maps, this edition combines medieval epic with modern art.
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Thomas Kinsella is a poet and translator. Among his publications are Blood and Family and From Centre City.
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