Celtic Wonder Tales. Re-Told by Ella Young. With Decorations by Maud Gonne. Dublin: Talbot Press, 1923. New Edition. Pp vii, 202. Dark green cloth boards, Celtic design in blind, with gilt lettering to upper cover & spine. Gilt on spine faded, scattered marginal spotting to text, otherwise a very nice copy.
Attractively illustrated with pen and ink drawings by Maud Gonne.
Ella Young (1867-1956) was born in Fenagh, County Antrim, one of several daughters in the Protestant Young family. As a student at the Royal University, she studied economy, history and law, and developed an interest in Irish mythology and folklore. This interest in all things Irish rather naturally led her to support the Republican cause, and shortly after she began writing for Sinn Féin, she also began gun-running for the Irish Republican Army. During the Rising (in her own words), ‘a thing that counted greatly in my life’, she was blacklisted and fled to Connemara. She returned to Dublin in 1919, remaining there until leaving to lecture in the United States in 1925. She remained in America and settled in California to teach at the University of California at Berkeley, where she continued her folklore studies, shifting her focus to Mexican and Native American legends. She became good friends with Maud Gonne who also illustrated Young's collection of poems 'The Rose of Heaven' (1920).