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Irish Gods Come Back to Life: AE and the Tuatha Dé Danann, and After

this talk considers how Irish mythic gods, the Tuatha Dé Danann, have been envisioned, recreated, and appropriated during the 20th century

In 1896, the Irish mystic, theosophist, poet and painter George Russell ('Æ') wrote in haste to W. B. Yeats, with extraordinary news. 'The gods have returned to Eri, and have centred themselves in the sacred mountains and blow fires through the country. They have been seen by several in vision, they will awaken the magical instinct everywhere, and the universal heart of the people will turn to the old Druidic beliefs.' The universal heart may have failed to fulfil his prophecy, but this talk considers how Irish mythic gods, the Tuatha Dé Danann, have been envisioned, recreated, and appropriated during the 20th century. Whether re-imagined as personified hermetic forces or symbols of emergent nationalist consciousness, the Tuatha Dé are more familiar now than ever before, appearing in children's literature, eco-protest and neo-paganism. During the course of the hour, we will trace this remarkable evolution. Dr Mark Williams of Peterhouse College is a Research Fellow in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic at Cambridge. Price: £7.00. Time: 7.15 for a 7.30 start.


Dr Mark Williams | talks


Date and Time:

1 September 2010 at 7:15 pm


2 hours 30 minutes



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