Readers of this comprehensive collection of epic and romantic literature can look forward to well-chosen examples of the three main cycles of early-Irish literature, as well as to romances and sagas that don't fall into any of the main cycles but are still rich in early-Irish tradition. Found in the book's first part, titled "Tales of the Tuatha De Danann", are stories that belong to the first-the mythological-cycle. The Tuatha De Danann (peoples of the goddess Danu, or Anu) were learned in arts and magic and are depicted as strong and beautiful beings-not quite gods, but not ordinary mortals either. Believed to have come to Ireland from the north of Europe, they lived in a district along the river Boyne near Stackallen Bridge and in the fairy mound of Femin in Tipperary. Part two, called "The Ulster Cycle", consists of sagas and tales that deal with the traditional heroes of what is now eastern Ulster. In these ancient sagas, readers will meet the powerful Ulster king Conchobar and his band of chosen warriors, which includes Fergus mac Roig, Bricriu of the Poison Tongue, Cathbad the Druid; and, most famous of all, the youthful Cu Chulainn, the subject of some of Ireland's finest heroic tales. A highlight of the Ulster stories are the many references to ancient manners and customs. The Finn cycle of tales comprises the books third part. Irish annals provide numerous tales of Finn, and though they differ greatly in their conceptions of him, all regard him as the chief of a warrior band whose heroes include his son (Ossian) and grandson (Oscar). This lively section will make it clear why the exploits of Finn and his companions have formed a part of the popular culture of Gaelic-speaking Ireland and Scotland for several centuries. Also included in the volume are tales of the traditional kings (with one about the king of the Lepracans and another about royal gluttony, among others); the story of the voyage of Bran son of Febal; and place-name stories.