Fionn Mac Cumhaill with Dr. Natasha Sumner

Today I talk to Dr. Natasha Sumner, a Celtic Languages and Literatures scholar.

Perhaps the name Fionn Mac Cumhaill is throwing you off, as he is also known as Finn McCool!

Dr. Sumner and I met at a month-long Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) immersion course a few years ago. The course at Colaisde na Gàidhlig was incredible on its own, but I was so thrilled to have met many other students and teachers who were passionate about the language. Hopefully I can go back to Cape Breton at some point to see those friends!

But for today, Dr. Sumner agreed to spend time with me on the podcast, and talk about a subject that she has studied at length. The legendary hero will likely capture your attention too. He has endured through Gaelic culture for so long, I feel as though we barely scratched the surface in this episode.

Perhaps someday Dr. Sumner and I will talk again on another aspect of the legends. Until then, you can keep an eye out for the Fionn Cycle Folklore Project, which is creating a searchable online database of Fenian folklore. This database is expected to launch in Fall 2020! Also, her book will be out in a year or so, with the tentative title: Heroes of the Gael: A History of Fionn and the Fianna.

Thank you Dr. Sumner for the wonderful information concerning the Gaelic hero, Fionn Mac Cumhaill!

Book Recommendations:  

The Ossianic Lore and Romantic Tales of Medieval Ireland by Gerard Murphy

The Fenian Cycle in Irish and Scots-Gaelic Literature by Dr. Joseph Flahive

The Early Finn Cycle by Prof. Kevin Murray

An Tóraíocht by Colmán Ó Raghallaigh and the Cartoon Saloon

Also, Dr. Sumner recommended a Young Adult series:

The Fianna Trilogy by Megan Chance