Translated from the Irish by Thomas Kinsella. With one hundred and thirty-one brush drawings by Louis le Brocquy. Illustrated with maps, and three plates from the Lebor na hUidre, The Yellow Book of Lecan and The Book of Leinster.
D: Dolmen Press, 1969. Folio. Lim. 1st edn. Bl. buckram. Slipcase. Fine in d.j. (1)
THE FINEST BOOK OF ITS TIME – LE BROCQUY’S MASTERPIECE
Hundreds “The Táin Bó Cuailgne – the Cattle Drive of Cooley – is the central story in the great old-Irish saga-cycle featuring the Sons of Usnech, Cuchulain, Ferdia, Maeve and the rival bulls of Connaught and Ulster, culminating in the ‘battle of the bulls’. The distinguished poet Thomas Kinsella began translating parts of the Tain while still a young man; short sections were published by Liam Miller’s Dolmen Press in 1954 and 1960.
In 1969, when Kinsella completed the entire translation, Liam Miller was inspired to ask Ireland’s premier living artist Louis le Brocquy to illustrate the text. The result was a triumph, undoubtedly the finest Irish book of its time. “”This is undoubtedly the most famous book issued by the Dolmen Press and has been widely acclaimed for Thomas Kinsella’s translation of the Irish epic tale, for Louis le Brocquy’s vigorous brush drawings, and for its general design”” – Liam Miller.The original limited edition of 1,750 copies published in 1969 sold out within months, and had become very rare and expensive. A reduced octavo edition with only 30 of the original 130 illustrations was published in 1970, and has been many times reprinted; but the full magnificent suite of illustrations was unavailable until this Library Edition was issued in 1985. It is itself a scarce book, as the bulk of the edition was distributed to libraries worldwide, and it has not been reprinted.”