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!
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