Selected Books and Essays

I take a close look at the various ways in which twentieth-century fantasy writers have used Welsh Celtic mythology and folklore in their work. I discuss the theories formulated by such scholars as John Vickery and Joseph Campbell on the use of Celtic materials from a mythology-in-literature perspective. I've presented an extensive accounting of the Celtic material used and explored the primary ways in which the authors incorporate it into their fiction, both structurally and thematically. Order it here.

The purpose of this collection, first published in 1996, is to provide both an overview of the major critical approaches to the "Four Branches" of The Mabinogi and a selection of the best essays dealing with them. The essays examine the origins of The Mabinogi, comparative analyses, and structural and thematic interpretations. This book is ideal for students of literature and Medieval studies. Order it here

In 1867, Fenianism in Ireland was at its peak. The English, desperate to stem the tide of rebellion, banished convicted Fenians, along with thousands of common criminals, to exile in Australia.

The Hougoumont was the last official convict ship to Australia. In the autumn of 1867, she sailed from England. Among the Fenians on board was young Denis B. Cashman of Waterford, convicted of felony treason and sentenced to seven years' penal servitude.

 

On the long journey, Cashman kept a diary. Now, one hundred and fifty years later, this diary is available in all its rich, poignant detail. We feel Cashman's homesickness and share his wry humor, watching as new friendships are strengthened by adversity, and as he conquers his fear of the unknown world ahead. Each experience is as vivid as on the day the diary was written. Order it here.
 

Essays

“Robert A. Heinlein: Building and Defending the Empire”

In Critical Insights: Robert A. Heinlein, ed. Rafeeq O. McGiveron, Ipswich, MA: Grey House Publishing/Salem Press, 2015: 215-227 

“Tolkien and the Traditional Dragon Tale: An Examination of The Hobbit” 

In J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, ed. Peter Hunt, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013: 62-73

 

“Reconsidering the Convict Ships, 1788-1868”

New Hibernia Review 12.4 (Winter 2008): 61-70

 

“Folklore and Fantastic Literature”

Western Folklore 60.4 (2001): 279-296

“Cultural Worldview: Marginalizing the Fantastic in the Seventeenth Century”

Para*doxa:Studies in World Literature 1.3 (1995): 287-300

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