a recording of this lecture will be available to ticket holders for two weeks after the event

Fionn mac Cumhail (Finn mac Cool in English) is one of the great traditional heroes, the Irish and Scottish Gaelic equivalent to King Arthur. With his picked band of warriors, the Fianna, he defended Ireland against all foes, and as such they continue to feature as role models and inspirations for nationalist politics to this very day, giving their name to current political parties. They have also supplied world legend with some of its best stories and motifs, including the catching of the Salmon of Wisdom, the doomed love of Diarmid and Grainne and the return of Oisin from the Undying Lands. Even more than most heroic epics, the Finn cycle abounds with magic and enchantment, and encounters with other worlds. This talk is designed to ask when it originated, how it developed, and whether there was a real man behind it.

Speaker: Professor Ronald Hutton is a Professor of History at the University of Bristol. He is a leading authority on history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, on ancient and medieval paganism and magic, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs

The talk will be followed by:

The Rise of Finn MacCoull- performed by Daniel Allison

Daniel Allison, storyteller and author of Finn & The Fianna, tells the story of how Finn tasted the Salmon of Wisdom and claimed his place as leader of the Fianna. Come along to hear one of the greatest Celtic tales brought to life by a master storyteller.

Brief Bio:

Daniel Allison is a USA Today bestselling author, oral storyteller and podcaster from Scotland. He is the author of Scottish Myths & Legends, Finn & The Fianna and The Shattering Sea. Daniel’s podcast House of Legends features tales told by himself and leading storytellers from around the world, while his Roundhouse Storytelling School provides a unique online training platform for emerging storytellers.

Daniel’s live performances are an intoxicating blend of Celtic legends and indigenous tribal tales. Darkness and beauty, heartbreak and wonder; these are stories with golden feathers and sharp teeth. Daniel has performed throughout the world, from the jungles of Peru to Thai villages, Hebridean hilltops and festivals in Singapore and Dubai, and is currently based in Thailand