Monday 28 May 2018

Irish Saints for Boys and Girls - Alice Curtayne

Irish Saints for Boys and Girls
Alice Curtayne

Eileen Coghlan (Illustrator)
Helicon Limited Edition (1978)
Sheed and Ward (1938)

This book appears to be a precursor to her book Twenty Tales of Irish Saints. The 19 stories contained within this book all appear in the Twenty tales book, which contains 1 more story and a section at the end of the book with brief paragraph length biographical summary of the saints in alphabetical order at the end of the book. When I tracked down this book I was surprised how similar it was to Twenty Tales. The wording is slightly different but the texts for these 19 saints are Essentially the same. The big difference is that this volume has illustrations. 15 illustrations to be exact. The illustrations seem to be either pen and ink or block cut prints. Most are plain black and white and could be either format, but a few have such shading that they could not be block prints. But either way the illustrations are wonderful and add to the tales of the saints, and my son loved them. The 19 saints of whom there are stories in this book are:

Colman of Kilmacduagh
Laurence O'Toole
Thaddeus MacCarthy
The Young Monk

In the story on Colmcille, Curtayne states:

"Ireland has many saints - almost a countless number - and three great ones. The great ones are Patrick, Brigid, and Colmcille. These three are like sparkling jewels in a crown, and it would be hard to say which sparkled the most; perhaps it would depend on the light in which you looked at the jewels. In one light, at any rate, Colmcille sparkles the brightest; Irishness. He loved Ireland with all his might and hated to having to leave it for Scotland, and with - another thing - he was very Irish in himself."

This book is a wonderful read and even though it overlapped almost completed with Twenty Tales of Irish Saints I am very thankful to have tracked down a copy and been able to read it. I discovered the writings of Curtayne through the aforementioned Twenty Tales, and in the last few months have tracked down 11 of her works, read 7 and now reviewed 7. Every time I finish one of her works I begin the quest anew to find and read all her books. I give this book and all her books I have read to date my highest recommendation. If you can lay your hands on them give them a read, you will be in for a treat.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books and Booklets by Alice Curtayne:
A Recall to Dante
Francis Ledwidge: A Life of the Poet
Lough Derg: St. Patrick's Purgatory
Patrick Sarsfield
Saint Anthony of Padua
St. Bernard Doctor of The Church 1933

Books Edited by Alice Curtayne:
The Complete works of Francis Ledwidge

Books Translated by Alice Curtayne:
Labours in the Vineyard by Giovanni Papin

Books Contributed to by Alice Curtayne:

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