Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition: G301020


Author: Unknown

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Douglas Hyde

Electronic edition compiled by Stephen Beechinor

Funded by University College, Cork

1. First draft, revised and corrected.

Extent of text: 4300 words


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Distributed by CELT online at University College, Cork, Ireland.
Text ID Number: G301020

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Available with prior consent of the CELT programme for purposes of academic research and teaching only.


    Manuscript sources
  1. Dublin, Trinity College Library, 1339 olim H. 2. 18 al. Book of Leinster, p 259b-261b; 12th century (oldest version).
  2. Dublin, Trinity College Library, 1318 olim H. 2. 16 al. Yellow Book of Lecan, col. 749-753; 14th century.
  3. Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland, MS 72.2.3 (olim Advocates Library, MS. 53, Scottish Collection), Glen Masáin; vellum; 15th century.
  4. London, BL Egerton 1782, f67r-69v; 16th century.
  5. Belfast Museum, unnumbered MS. (late 18th to early 19th century).
  1. Theophilus O'Flanagan, Deirdri, or, the Lamentable Fate of the Sons of Usnach, an ancient dramatic Irish tale, one of the three tragic stories of Erin; literally translated into English, from an original Gaelic manuscript, with notes and observations: to which is annexed the old historic facts on which the story is founded, Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Dublin I, Dublin 1808.
  2. Eugene O'Curry, The 'Tri Thruaighe na Scéalaigheachta' (i.e. the 'Three Most Sorrowful Tales') of Erinn. 'The Exile of the Children of Uisneach' [edited from the old MS. called the 'Yellow Book of Lecain' col. 749-53 in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin], Atlantis 3 (1862) 377-422.
  3. Ernst Windisch, Longes mac nUisnig. 'Die Verbannung der Söhne Usnechs', Irische Texte mit Übersetzungen und Wörterbuch 1, herausgegeben von W. Stokes und E. Windisch (Leipzig 1880) [Text from Book of Leinster, fo. 192, with variant readings of Yellow Book of Lecan and Egerton 1782. [Text reprinted in Gaelic Journal 1 (1883) 378-91].
  4. Whitley Stokes, The Death of the Sons of Uisneach, Irische Texte 2 (Leipzig 1887) 109-84 [Text of Oided mac nUisnig from the Glen Masáin MSS. 56, 53 Edinburgh, with introduction, English translation, and notes. Corrigenda in 3, 283]
  5. A. Cameron, Deirdre and the Sons of Uisneach [ed. from Edinburgh MS. 56 with transl. and notes; also text of the Glenmasan MS.], Reliquiae Celticae 2 (1894) 421-74.
  6. Vernam Hull, ed., Longes mac n-Uislenn. The Exile of the sons of Uisliu, New York/London 1949 [Reconstituted text based on the Book of Leinster MS].
  7. Breandán Ó Buachalla, ed., Imthiacht Dheirdre la Naoise agus oidhe chloinne Uisneach, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 29 (1962/64), (H. 1/2, 1962), 114-54.
  8. Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith (ed. and trans.), Oidheadh Chloinne hUisneach. The Violent Death of the Children of Uisneach. Irish Texts Society, vol. 56. London: Irish Texts Society, 1993.
    Translations and Adaptations
  1. Samuel Ferguson, 'The Death of the Children of Usnach', Hibernian Nights' Entertainment. Dublin University Magazine (December 1834), 670-688.
  2. R.D. Joyce, Deirdre, Boston 1876.
  3. Ernst Windisch, Longes mac nUisnig. 'Die Verbannung der Söhne Usnechs', Irische Texte mit Übersetzungen und Wörterbuch 1, herausg. von W. Stokes und E. Windisch (Leipzig 1880) [German].
  4. Standish Hayes O'Grady, History of Ireland: the Heroic Period, London 1878.
  5. P. W. Joyce, 'The Fate of the Sons of Usna', Old Celtic Romances, London 1879.
  6. Georges Dottin, Exil des fils d'Usnech, autrement dit: Meurtre des fils d'Usnech et de Derdriu, in: H. d'Arbois de Jubainville (ed.), L'epopée celtique en Irlande (=Cours de littérature celtique), Paris 1892.
  7. D. Mackinnon, The Glenmasan Manuscript, The Celtic Review 1 (1904-07) 13–17; 105–131; 209–229; 297–315; Vol.2: 21–33; 101–121; 203–223; 301–313. Vol. 3: 11–25; 115–137; 199–215; 295–317. Vol. 4: 11–27; 105–121; 203–219 [English].
  8. Samuel Ferguson, 'Deirdre', Poems of Sir Samuel Ferguson, Dublin 1918.
  9. Aubrey de Vere, 'The Sons of Usnach', The Poetical Works of Aubrey de Vere II, London 1882.
  10. Standish Hayes O'Grady, The Coming of Cuculain, Dublin 1894.
  11. Douglas Hyde, The Three Sorrows of Story-Telling and Ballads of St Columkille, London 1895.
  12. John Todhunter, Three Irish Bardic Tales, London 1896.
  13. George Sigerson, Bards of the Gael and the Gall, London 1897.
  14. Eleanor Hull, The Cuchullin Saga in Irish Literature, London 1898.
  15. Douglas Hyde, A Literary History of Ireland, London 1899.
  16. William Sharp, The House of Uena, Portland/Maine 1900.
  17. Herbert Trench, Deirdre Wedded, London 1901.
  18. Lady Gregory, Cuchulain of Muirthemne, London 1902.
  19. C. L. Thompson, The Celtic Wonder World n. p. 1902.
  20. George William Russell (A.E.), 'Deirdre', Imaginations and Reveries, Dublin 1916.
  21. Máire Ní Siúdlaig, 'Deirdre', The Gael (March 1904), 85-86.
  22. A. H. Leahy, Ancient Heroic Romances of Ireland II, London 1905.
  23. Charles Squire, The Mythology of the British Isles, London 1905.
  24. Eleanor Hull, A Text-Book of Irish Literature, London 1906.
  25. W. B. Yeats, Deirdre (London 1907) A. H. Bullen.
  26. John M. Synge, Deirdre of the Sorrows (NY 1910) John Quin.
  27. T. W. Rolleston, Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race, London 1911.
  28. Eva Goore-Booth, The Buried Life of Deirdre [Accepted for performance by the National Theatre of Ireland in October, 1911, but never performed. Published in limited edition of 250 copies (NY 1930) Longman's].
  29. Anonymous, Fate of the children of Uisneach, Dublin 1914.
  30. James Stephens, Deirdre, New York 1923.
  31. Máirín A. Cheavasa, The Unfaithfulness of Naoise, Cork 1930.
  32. "J. J. Jones", Deirdre, Cork 1930.
  33. Kim McCone and Pádraig Ó Fiannachta, Scélaíocht ár sinsear, Maynooth 1992, 109-116 [Modern Irish adaptation].
    Secondary literature
  1. Rev. J. J. O'Carroll, S. J., Appendix to the three texts of Longes mac nUisnig, as given by O'Curry, O'Flanagan and Windisch, Gaelic Journal 2 (1884) 17-30, 51-58.
  2. H. d'Arbois de Jubainville, L'épopée celtique en Irlande (Paris 1892) Libraire du Collège de France.
  3. R. K. Smith, Loch Etive and the Sons of Usnach. [With illustr. by Miss J. Knox-Smith] (Edinburgh, 1885).
  4. Oidhe Chloinne Uisnigh, ed. R. J. O'Duffy [Critical notice] Gaelic Journal 9 (1898) 275-6, 295-298.
  5. Eleanor Hull, The story of Deirdre in its bearing on the social development of the folk-tale, Folk-Lore 15 (1904) 24-39.
  6. Josef Weisweiler, Deirdriu und Gráinne, Paideuma 2 (1941/43), (H. 4/5, 1942) 197-223.
  7. Myles Dillon, Early Irish Literature (Chicago 1948) Chicago U.P.
  8. Máirín O'Daly, [review of Hull (1949)] Béaloideas 19, 1949 (1950), 196-207.
  9. D. A. Binchy, [review of Hull (1949)] Éigse 6, 1948/1952 (pt. 2, 1950) 179-183.
  10. Gerard Murphy, [review of Hull (1949)] Studies 39 (1950), 108-9.
  11. Howard Meroney, [review of Hull (1949)] Modern Language Notes 67 (1952), 61-63.
  12. Hugh P. Bevan, The topography of the Deirdre story, Bulletin of the Ulster Place-names Society 5 (1957) pt. 1, 1-5.
  13. E.G. Quin, Longas mac nUisnig, in: Myles Dillon (ed.), Irish sagas, Dublin 1959; Cork 1968, 51-65.
  14. Herbert V. Fackler, Nineteenth-century sources for the Deirdre legend, Éire-Ireland 4 (1969) uimh. 4, 56-63.
  15. Sister Margaret P. Slattery, Deirdre: the 'Mingling of Controversies' in Plot and Symbolism, Modern Drama 9 (Spring 1969), 400-403.
  16. Maria Tymoczko, Animal Imagery in Loinges Mac nUislenn, Stud. Celtica 20/21 (1985/86) 145-166.
  17. Patrick Sims-Williams, Fionn and Deirdre in Late Medieval Wales, Éigse 23 (1989), 1-15.
  18. Máire Herbert, The Universe of Male and Female: A Reading of the Deirdre Story, in: Cyril J. Byrne, Margaret Harry, and Pádraig Ó Siadhail (eds.), Celtic Languages and Celtic Peoples: Proceedings of the Second North American Congress of Celtic Studies held in Halifax August 16-19, 1989. Halifax 1992, 53-64.
  19. Máire Herbert, Celtic heroine? The archaeology of the Deirdre story, in: T. O'Brien Johnson and D. Cairns (eds.), Gender in Irish Writing, Milton Keynes/Philadelphia 1991, 13-22.
  20. Cornelius G. Buttimer, Longes Mac nUislenn Reconsidered, Éigse 28 (1994/95), 1-41.
  21. Caoimhín Breatnach, Oidheadh Chloinne Uisnigh, Ériu 45 (1994), 99-112.
  22. Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith (ed. and trans.), Oidheadh Chloinne hUisneach. The Violent Death of the Children of Uisneach. Irish Texts Society, vol. 56. London: Irish Texts Society, 1993. [A substantially different version of the Deirdre story, transmitted fully in 90 extant MSS, the earliest written in 1671].
  23. Caoimhín Breatnach [Rev. of Mac Giolla Léith 1993], Éigse 28 (1994-5), 200-218.
  24. Mícheál Ó Flaithearta [Rev. of Mac Giolla Léith 1993], Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 29 (1995), 75-77.
  25. Doris Edel [Rev. of Mac Giolla Léith 1993], Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 48 (1996), 331-333.
    The edition used in the digital edition
  1. Douglas Hyde, Déirdre in Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie. volume 2, Halle/Saale, Max Niemeyer (1899) pages 138-155


Project Description

CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts

Sampling Declaration

All editorial introduction, translation, notes and indexes have been omitted. Editorial corrigenda are integrated into the electronic edition. All variants recorded by the editor have been retained and these are tagged as variants. In the case of variant readings, editorial expansions of MS abbreviations, rendered in italic in the edition, are not marked. Missing text supplied by the editor is tagged. The manuscripts have not been freshly collated.

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Text has been checked, proof-read and parsed using NSGMLS.


The electronic text represents the edited text.


Direct speech is marked q.


The editorial practice of the hard-copy editor has been retained.


div0=the saga.


Personal names (given names), place-names and group names are tagged.

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Profile Description

Created: By (an) unknown Irish scribe(s). Date range: c. 1100-1500.

Use of language

Language: [GA] The text is in Early Modern Irish.

Revision History