Monday, February 1, 2010

Joseph Jacobs Celtic Fairytales

The Sea Maiden, The Story of Deirdre, and Connla and the Fairy Maiden
By Joseph Jacobs

Okay, so I just spent the last fifteen minutes typing up a well thought out summary, truly epic, when my internet at my apartment complex kicked me off. I'm not spending another fifteen minutes on it, so whatever I give you, you'll have to be happy with.
A man makes a bargain with a sea maiden so that he may be prosperous and catch lots of fish. In return his son must go to be with sea maiden when he is twenty years old. the son leaves home before he turns twenty and does a series of challenges, unintentionally proving himself to the king and winning the princess's hand in marriage. They marry and one day they take a walk on the loch, and the sea maiden kidnaps the son. The princess is distraught and talks to the soothsayer and gives her a solution. The princess succeeds in saving her beloved, but afterwards she herself is kidnapped by the sea maiden. The son talks to the soothsayer and finds a solution and with the help of his animal friends he made on his various journeys, he saves the princess and kills the sea maiden.
Who would benefit from reading this?
Anyone who is a fan of celtic fairytales, or even Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid might like this tale. It gives lots of detail on battles and the son's heroic feats in order to marry the princess.
What problems do you see this story causing?
This particular tale has a lot of violence in it. Giants are killed and beheaded or trampled to death, monsters are beheaded, etc. It's just not very pleasant and some younger audiences might be disturbed with the contents.
What was your reaction?
I personally did not care for the story. The only part that mentioned the Sea Maiden was at the very beginning and at the very end. It gave WAY too much detail in the middle with nothing to do with the sea maiden. It all just seemed like fluffy filler.

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