Friday, October 16, 2009

Those Kinsella Boys! By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Google the Irish last name of ‘Kinsella’ or type it in to Amazon, and you will be over-whelmed with hits for the author Sophie Kinsella and her best selling books. Surely Sophie’s books are terrific for a plane ride or the beach, but other Kinsella authors also abound.

The latest is my brother, Tom, aka T.E. Kinsella, who edited anew two ancient Irish tales. Do go to Amazon and type in the name of the book, and yes, you will see our boyyo:

"The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne & The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu", translated originally by O’Grady and Leahy, and modernized, with a new introduction, by T. E. Kinsella.

Tom writes:
“The story of Diarmuid and Grainne is an early Irish story about honor and love. In its earliest form (The Exile of the Sons of Uisliu) it probably dates to 500 AD or earlier. In its later form of The Pursuit it is the story of an older, powerful war leader, Finn MacCool, who is promised the hand of the King of Ireland’s daughter. When this daughter, Grainne, chooses a young champion over the older Finn, she and her lover Diarmuid are fated to a life on the run. The women characters in both versions of the story are strong and independent minded. They choose their own partners and their own paths in life. Sadly (distressingly in The Exile), the end result is not particularly happy.”

Tom used his initials T. E. for the book because another Thomas Kinsella has translated several important works of early Irish literature and our Tom didn’t want to trade on the older Tom’s good name.

While you are on Amazon, check out this book: "Clan Kinsella’s History of Ireland", by John and James Kinsella. Yes, you know these two characters also—perhaps as Uncle Jack and Jim.

Jim describes the book:
“ The history of the Irish is full of exhilarating stories, noble achievements, cliff-hanging dramas, profound tragedies, and indefatigable perseverance - a history Clan Kinsella helped create. Experience this history. Feel the rush of a warrior during battle, the thrill of a noble engaged in a cattle raid, the concern of a famished farmer during spring ploughing, and the comfort of a feasting clan listening to its file on Hallows Eve.”

Even if you are not a Kinsella, this book is magnificent at bringing alive Irish history, in ways that most history books I have read, never do. Jim weaves in historical facts and folklore and stories, as the bards of old might have done.

Best of all, perhaps, for this blog at least, Jim is deeply into his next book, a detailed historical fiction account of our Baker family from our Mayflower descendants on up to Aunt CB’s generation.

Both books, Tom and Jim’s, are published by the Old Baldy Press, the brainchild of yet another brother, Dan. Old Baldy Press, named for a stone outcropping near the Kinsella cottage on Otty Lake, takes advantage of emerging internet models of publication. Jim and Tom’s books are printed by one of the large on-line on-demand printing companies, but Dan is also working to make them available in electronic form so they can be bought for use with Amazon Kindle readers and other portable reading devices.

And, while you are still on the computer, check out . This site is produced by Uncle Jack, Jim and Dan, and has won the coveted ‘Four Shamrock’ award by the Irish Internet Doras company. Scroll down and click on a few of its links—terrific information here, in history and travel…Look on the ‘Extra’ link--you will get to the ‘jokes’ section -- reading these is almost like enjoying a Guiness in Jim’s Irish pub, while he and the brothers and Pops reel off story after story.

To My Brothers—So Proud of You!!

Picture One: Tom's new book
Picture Two: Uncle Jack and Jim's book
Picture Three: Tom
Picture Four: Jim
Picture Five: Dan


Pat said...

Might that picture up top of the three little piggies be meant to symbolize my brothers??!!

WHO would think that, and anyway, even if your mind was that devious, WHICH three of the five would they represent?!

Love to all, on October 19th, the day after lots of gloppy SNOW fell in our neighborhood....Always so beautiful at the beginning of the winter season.

Susan Kinsella said...

Snow already?!? I like Paul Kinsella's Facebook status from a few days ago in Los Angeles: "Two consecutive days of periodic rain! Man, what a rough winter, glad that's over. Back to high 70's and sunny today."

CB said...

Now really, what can a mother say but "well done!" The Irish already said it all. Now wait until you hear from the other 2 and the 3 sisters! CB

CB said...

Dear All,
What I should have said is--Just proves what the Irish can do with a little boost from the scot-irish!!!MA

Nance said...

Gosh, but so much history in our family -- from every direction! It sure makes for interesting reading -- and I can see a few more books that I need to get for my library of reading!

It really makes me proud to keep up with all of this family -- both past and present!