JP Mallory describes this book as a companion to his The Origins of the Irish,
from 2013, in which he sketched the emergence in the early medieval
period of a people who were recognisably Irish. In that book he briefly
examined the legendary history of Ireland as written down in
early-medieval times by clerical scholars who prized the vernacular
traditions of poetry, myth and legend and gave them an honoured place
side by side with the Latin learning of the church.
He returns to that subject in this latest valuable study written in his characteristic accessible and witty style.