Celtic Fairy Tales

The Celts were originally a group of European Iron Age tribes.

Due to the expansion of the Roman empire the Celts were forced to survive in the least accessible areas of Europe such as Ireland, Wales and Gaul.

Theirs was a culture deeply steeped in magic and supernatural beings.

Our selection is drawn predominantly for 'Celtic Fairy Tales' by Joseph Jacobs, illustrated by John D. Batten, published in 1892.

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Thumbnail For Andrew Coffey
Andrew Coffey knows every bit of the land, but one day becomes lost. He seeks shelter in a small empty cabin and hears a voice asking him to tell a story.
Thumbnail For Beth Gellert
Prince Llewelyn has a favorite hound named Gellert. When he was out hunting a wolf enters the castle to eat the prince's son, but Gellert kills the wolf.
Thumbnail For Brewery Of Eggshells
A shepherd and his wife had twin babies, but after seeing some elves they began to suspect their babies had been changed and sought the help of a wise man.
Thumbnail For Connla And The Fairy Maiden
One day Connla of the Fiery Hair met a fairy maiden who said she hailed from the 'Plains of the Ever Living', a land where they was neither death nor sin.
Thumbnail For Donal And Conal
Donal was a merry lad who always wore a smile and dearly wished for a violin. On a journey he met some elves and after dancing for them was given a violin.
Thumbnail For Gold Tree And Silver Tree
There once was a king who had a wife named Silver-tree and a daughter named Gold-tree. One day a trout told the Queen that her daughter was more beautiful.
Thumbnail For Hudden And Dudden And Donald O'Neary
Hudden and Duddem were farmers and although they had many animals were not happy. Between their land was a poor man with only one cow named Donald O'Neary.
Thumbnail For King O'Toole And His Goose
King O'Toole was a merry king who enjoyed the chase, but he grew old and no longer able to hunt. His only joy was a goose but in time that too became old.
Thumbnail For The Lad With The Goat Skin
Tom's mother was a poor widow woman and could not afford to clothe him, so to keep him warm she dug a pit where he stood and then filled it up with ashes.
Thumbnail For The Leprechaun Of Ardmore Tower
A Leprechaun is sitting high up in Ardmore Tower, dressed in a red jacket and green breeches he is busy making a pair of riding boots for the fairy prince.
Thumbnail For Munachar And Manachar
Long ago there lived a Munachar and a Manachar. The Manachar had eaten all the Munachar raspberries so he decided to hang him and went in search of a rod.
Thumbnail For The Sea Maiden
A fisherman one day met a sea-maiden, who asked if he would give her his son in return for being able to catch plenty of fish. As he had no son he agreed.
Thumbnail For The Shepherd Of Myddvai
The shepherd of Myddvai once saw three maidens rise from the waters of the lake. He gave one bread, but she ran away laughing which happened three times.
Thumbnail For The Story-Teller At Fault
In Leinster reigned a king who had a fondness for stories. The king had a favorite storyteller who, each and every evening, would tell the king a new yarn.

Sources And Further Reading

Sacred Texts Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs Illustrations by John D. Batten [1892]