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Title: The Cath Gabhra family of ballads : a study in textual relationships
Author: Gunderloch, Anja
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1997
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The thesis investigates the internal and external relationships of a group of Gaelic heroic ballads telling of the battle of Gabhair (Cath Gabhra). The material for discussion is drawn from Scottish and Irish sources and particular emphasis is given to the Scottish tradition. Part 1 (chs. 1-3) consists of an analysis of the ballads as a literary genre and part 2 (chs. 4-6) investigates in detail the Cath Gabhra texts themselves. Chapter 1 defines form and content of the ballad genre and includes a discussion of themes, language, metre, style and different aspects of orality present in the genre. Chapter 2 presents the genre in the context of society and pays particular attention to the attitudes of scribes and ballad collectors and the role of reciters as agents of ballad transmission. Chapter 3 investigates in detail the patterns evident in textual transmission and development, including innovation, loss, and changes. Aspects of the dynamics of textual survival and the function of material pertaining to the Heroic Code are discussed in detail as well. Chapter 4 shows the historical and literary affinities of the different Cath Gabhra texts, with particular attention to prose tales on the subject of Cath Finntrágha and Cath Maige Mucrama. Chapter 5 analyses the textual relationships and differences between the Irish Cath Gabhra ballads and Chapter 6 investigates the Scottish texts in the same way. The Appendix presents a selection of unpublished texts from Irish and Scottish tradition. Material from the holdings of the Royal Irish Academy predominates in the first part while the second part contains texts from the National Library of Scotland, the Carmichael-Watson collection in Edinburgh University Library, and the Henderson papers in Glasgow University Library.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available