Ancient Folk Tales of Ireland:
by Eoin Purcell
Hawkhill Publishing is a new-ish company under the direction of former Hughes & Hughes buyer Colm Ennis. They had a hit last year with the rather attractively packaged GAA Book Of Days and have released two new titles [If I Trust In You and Playing Dead] in 2009. Their third in 2009 is the reason for this post.
It was the cover that initially attracted me to Ancient Folk Tales of Ireland. I emailed Colm and he was kind enough to send me on an Advance Information sheet. I’m looking forward to seeing the book in physical form. From the AI:
Bringing the original Folk Tales collected by Douglas Hyde, and first presented to the reading public 120 years ago, to the children of today. Six stories from Hyde’s original collection have been beautifully illustrated in a classical Irish setting including old favourites such as ‘The King of Ireland’s Son’ and some lesser know stories such as ‘The Well at the End of the World.’ What makes this collection unique is that the actual language of the original storytellers has been retained to bring the children of today back beside the fire to hear the stories as they were told 120 years ago and first produced in the 1890 edition of Hyde’s ‘Beside the Fire.’
Produced in close association with the Douglas Hyde Estate, with an introduction by his grandson, every effort has been made to retain the original storytelling of the stories while removing some of the more obvious 19th Century influences to present the stories as they were told down the centuries.
This has been ripe for a re-issue and Colm has a good eye for packaging. I hope this does astonishingly well. It reminds me of the rather lovely packaging Mercier applied to Eddie Lenihan’s Irish Tales of Mystery & Magic.
Good luck to Hawkhill and Colm.