Reference Number206003
TitlePopular Tales of the West Highlands
AuthorN/A (Edited work)
EditorCampbell, J. F. (John Francis)
Date Of Edition1890-1893
Date Of Languagemid 19th c.
Date Of Language Ed19th c.
DateMacroMid 19th c.
Date Of Language Notes
PublisherAlexander Gardner
Place PublishedPaisley and London
VolumeVol. 3 of 4
LocationNational, academic, and local libraries
Geographical OriginsHighlands and Islands
Geographical Origins EdHighlands and Islands
Geographical Origins Notes
RegisterLiterature, Prose, Verse (Oral)
Register EdProse and Verse
MediumProse & Verse
RatingB (TBC)
A major contribution to European folklore collections and scholarship.
The first comprehensive publication of stories and tales belonging to and recorded in the Highlands and Islands.
Reflects the various Gaelic dialects from various reciters throughout the Highlands and Islands.
Offers a comprehensive overview of the types of materials that were available then current during the mid-nineteenth century in the Highlands and Islands.
Alternative Author NameIain Òg Ìle; Campbell of Islay; Iain F. Caimbeul
Manuscript Or EditionEd.
Size And Condition19.2cm x 13.2cm
Short TitlePopular Tales
Reference DetailsNLS: Lit.62
Number Of Pagesxiv, 440
Gaelic Text ByN/A
Social ContextEdinburgh-born but Islay-raised, John Francis Campbell (1821-1885) is nowadays best remembered for his monumental collection of folklore and oral narratives partially published as the four-volume Popular Tales of the West Highlands (1860-62). Born probably on 29 December 1891, he was the eldest son of Walter Frederick Campbell of Islay (1798-1855), MP for Argyllshire, and his first wife, Lady Eleanor Charteris (1796-1832), eldest daughter of Francis Charteris, seventh Earl of Weymss. If the family had not been burdened with excessive debts then Campbell would have inherited Islay but the island had to be sold to service these debts and so the family left in 1847. Educated at Eton as well as the University of Edinburgh, Campbell was called to the bar of the Inner Temple in 1851. He did not, however, practice law and, in 1854, was appointed secretary to his cousin George, eighth Duke of Argyll; he later held several administrative government posts including that of the secretary to the Coal Commission.
Campbell was a Victorian polymath, combining skills in such varied fields as ethnology, linguistics, geology, art and science, and thus was a remarkably talented individual. In 1859, partially inspired by the work undertaken by the Grimm brothers and by Scandinavian scholars, in particular George Dasent, Campbell ‘set to work in earnest to gather the popular tales of the West Highlands’. As initiator and editor of this work, Campbell gathered a team together to undertake fieldwork throughout the Highlands and Islands. Included in his team were scholars such as Hector MacLean and Alexander Carmichael as well as Hector Urquhart and John Dewar. As a pioneer of folkloristics, Campbell wished to capture, as nearly as possible, the exact words of storytellers and to provide literal translations of the original recitations. Campbell’s other important works include Leabhar na Féinne (1872) (see Text 101) and the posthumously published The Celtic Dragon Myth (1911). In addition to his folklore collections, Campbell also published the two-volume Frost and Fire, Natural Engines, Toolmarks and Chips, with Sketches taken at Home and Abroad by a Traveller (1865), My Circular Notes (1876) and Thermography (1883). He died in Cannes, France, on 17 February 1885.
Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912). Born Lismore and employed as an exciseman in various places including Skye, Uist, Oban, and Islay. Carmichael remains best known for his monumental, if controversial, collection Carmina Gadelica (1900) (see Text 59). Another four volumes were subsequently published in the series. Carmichael also contributed many articles to learned periodicals such as the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness and also acted as Uist correspondent and wrote various columns for the Northern Chronicle as well as other Highland newspapers. He provided material for Campbell when undertaking collecting for Popular Tales. He died in Edinburgh in 1912 and was buried in Lismore.
Hector MacLean (1818-1893). Born in Islay and educated at the University of Edinburgh. At a young age became tutor to Campbell who later deemed MacLean to be one of the best Gaelic scholars of his generation. Campbell subsequently employed MacLean as a consultant and as a ‘translator of Gaelic Tales and Campbell’s chief authority on the Gaelic language and idiom.’ Contributed essays to the Transactions of the Anthropological Institute, Proceedings of the Scottish Anthropological Society and The Anthropological Review. He also assisted Campbell with Leabhar na Féinne (1872); translated the whole of the Dewar manuscripts into English, all nineteen volumes; and was the author of Ultonian Hero Ballads (1892). MacLean passed away in Islay in 1893.
John Dewar (1802-1872) was born in Glen-na-Callanach, near Tarbert, Loch Lomond. Dewar had been a shopkeeper in Paisley before taking up employment as a woodman for the eighth Duke of Argyll. Due to an injury sustained during work, Dewar left Glendaruel and went to live at Rosneath, and thus in his semi-retirement had enough spare time when his soon-to-be mentor Campbell of Islay was looking for contributors towards collecting oral materials which later appeared to great acclaim as Popular Tales. He is best remembered for his collection known as The Dewar Manuscripts which are currently housed in Inveraray Castle.
Hector Urquhart (fl. 1860) who was a gamekeeper at Ardkinglas on Loch Fyne, Argyll when Campbell got to know him. He belonged originally to Poolewe, Wester Ross.
ContentsThe three volumes consist of eighty-six separate items, ranging from a pithy anecdote (covering a mere page) to some of the most prestigious tales from any given storyteller’s repertoire, the longest (given in English translation only) is ‘The Story of Conall Gulbin’ (iii, pp. 199-297). Other types of genre are also included such as animal, heroic, romantic, Fenian tales as well as Fenian/Ossianic verse. Note: Volume 4 consists of outdated material pertaining to the Ossian controversy and has thus been excluded from this overview.
Volume I: The text begins with prefatory material and opens with an Advertisement stating that ‘this edition is published under the auspices of the Islay Association’ (p. v), followed by a Dedication to Lord Lorne (pp. vii-viii), then the Contents (pp. vii-xiii), followed by an extensive and discursive Introduction (pp. i-cxxviii) and the prefatory material concludes with a Postscript (pp. cxxix-cxxxi). The main text (pp. 1-364) is divided into sections with a translation of each item usually followed but not exclusively so by the original Gaelic transcription and usually where notes of interest are appended. Some of these notes detail and draw attention to different variations of the item in view and often as not remarks made by Campbell on similar items or variants from his vast knowledge of world folklore. The main text contains 17 sections, where the source (or sources) is indicated for each particular item, as follows: I. The Young Kind of Easaidh Ruadh (pp. 1-24); II. The Battle of the Birds (pp. 25-63); III. The Tale of the Hoodie (pp. 64-71); IV. The Sea-Maiden (pp. 72-104); V. Conall Cra Bhuidhe (pp. 105-127); VI. Conal Crovi (128-46); VII. The Tale of Connal (pp. 147-60); VIII. Murchag a’s Mionachag (pp. 161-76); IX. The Brown Bear of the Green Glen (pp. 168-80); X. The Three Soldiers (181-98); XI. The White Pet (pp. 199-207); XII. The Daughter of the Skies (pp. 208-19); XIII. The Girl and the Dead Man (pp. 220-25); XIV. The King who Wished to Marry his Daughter (pp. 226-36); XV. The Poor Brother and the Rich (pp. 237-43); XVI. The King of Lochlin’s Three Daughters (pp. 244-58); XVII. Maol a Chliobain (pp. 259-75); XVIIa. Fables (pp. 275-88); XVIIb. ‘Baile Lunnain’ (pp. 289-96); XVIIc. The Slim Swarthy Champion (pp. 297-329); and XVIId. The Tale of the Shifty Lad, The Widow’s Son (pp. 330-64).
Volume II: The text opens with the Contents (pp. v-xiii) followed by the main text (pp. 9-495). The main text is divided into sections with a translation of each item usually but not always followed by the original Gaelic transcription which is then followed by notes, some of which are detailed and which draw attention to different variations of the item. The main text contains 36 sections, where the source (or sources) is indicated for each particular item, as follows: XVII. The Chest (pp. 9-24); XIX. The Inheritance (pp. 24-27); XX. The Three Wise Men (pp. 28-32); XXI. A Puzzle (pp. 33-35); XXII. The Knight of Riddles (pp. 36-46); XXIII. The Burgh (pp. 47-48); XXIV. The Tulman (pp. 49-50); XXV. The Isle of Pabaidh (p. 51); XXVI. Sanntraigh (pp. 52-55); XXVII. Cailliach Mhor Chliabrich (p. 56); XXVIII. The Smith and the Fairies (pp. 57-84); XXIX. The Fine (pp. 85-93); XXX. The Two Shepherds (pp. 94-112); XXXI. Osean after the Feen (pp. 113-20); XXXII. Barra Widow’s Son (pp. 121-40); XXXIII. The Queen who Sought a Drink from a Certain Well (pp. 141-46); XXXIV. The Origin of Loch Ness (p. 147); XXXV. Conall (pp. 148-80); XXXVI. Maghach Colgar (pp. 181-202); XXXVII. Brolachan (pp. 203-208); XXXVIII. Murachadh MacBrian (pp. 209-231); XXXIX. The Three Widows (pp. 232-52); XL. The Son of the Scottish Yeoman who Stole the Bishop’s Horse and Daughter, and the Bishop Himself (pp. 253-78); XLI. The Widow and her Daughters (pp. 279-89); XLII. The Tale of the Soldier (pp. 290-99); XLIII. The Sharp Grey Sheep (pp. 300-206); XLIV. The Widow’s Son (pp. 307-17); XLV. Mac-a-Rusgaich (pp. 318-42); XLVI. Mac Iain Direach (pp. 344-76); XLVII. Fearachur Leigh (pp. 377-87); XLVIII. Sgire Mo Chealag (pp. 388-404); XLIX. Cat and Mouse (pp. 404-05); L. Three Questions (pp. 406-23); LI. The Fair Gruagach, Son of the King of Eirinn (pp. 424-50); LII. Knight of the Red Shield (pp. 451-93); and LVII. The Tail (pp. 494-95).
Volume III: The text opens with the Contents (pp. vi-xi) and List of Illustrations (p. xiii) which is followed by the main text (pp. 9-495). The main text is divided into sections with a translation of each item usually but not always followed by the original Gaelic transcription which is then followed by notes, some of which are detailed and which draw attention to different variations of the item. The main text contains 28 sections, where the source (or sources) is indicated for each particular item, as follows: LVII. The Rider of Grianaig, and Iain the Soldier’s Son (pp. 9-45); LIX. Fionn’s Questions (pp. 46-49); LX. Diarmaid and Grainne (pp. 49-60); LXI. The Lay of Diarmaid (pp. 60-102); LXII. How the Fox Took a Turn of the Goat (pp. 103-05); LXIII. How the Cock Took a Turn out of the Fox, and No Creature Ever Took a Turn Out of Him But the Cock (pp. 105-06); LXIV. The Hen (pp. 106-08); LXV. The Keg of Butter (pp. 108-12); LXVI. The Fox and the Little Bonnach (pp.112-20); LXVII. Caol Reidhinn: Why the Name was Given to It (pp. 120-25); LXVIII [Untitled] (pp. 122-26); LXIX. Thomas of the Thumb (pp. 127-29); LXX. The Bulls (pp. 130-33); LXXI. The Hoodie Catechising the Young One (pp. 133-34); LXXII. The Hoodie and the Fox (pp. 134-35); LXXIII. The Yellow Muilearteach (pp. 136-60); LXXIV. The Story of the Lay of the Great Fool (pp. 160-199); LXVI. Conall Gulban; or Guilbeineach, or Gulbaireneach (pp. 199-97); LXXVII. John, Son of the King of Bergen (pp. 298-303); LXXVIII. The Master and his Man (pp. 304-08); LXXIX. The Praise of Goll (pp. 309-11); LXXX. Osgar, the Son of Oisein (pp. 311-19); LXXXI. The Lay of Osgar (pp. 320-47); LXXXII. How the Een Was Set Up (pp. 348-60); LXXXIII. The Reason Why the Dallag (Dog-Fish) is Called the King’s Fish (pp. 361-62); LXXXIV. The Lay of Manus (pp. 363-95); LXXXV. The Song of the Smithy (pp. 396-420); and LXXXVI. Nighean Righ Fo Thuinn: The Daughter of King Under-Waves (pp. 421-40).
Volume IV: The text opens with the Contents (pp. v-vi), List of Illustrations (p. vii-xiii) and then a Postscript (pp. 1-4). The main text (pp. 5-377) is followed by a List of Stories (pp. 379-427) and a Note on Fairy Eggs (p. 428) and then an Index for all four volumes (pp. 429-443) and finally two short Notes (pp. 443-444). The main text contains several sections as follows: I. Ossian (pp. 1-236); II. Traditions (pp. 237-73); III. Mythology (pp. 274-313); IV. A Plea for Gaelic (pp. 315-32); V. Highland Dress (pp. 333-48); VI. Celtic Art (pp. 348-69) and VII. Music (pp. 369-72).
SourcesFor the vast majority of items a source (providing details of the title, reciter, date, place and collector) is given which are detailed in the Contents of each volume. The transcriptions were written from the dictation of each contributor. This may help to explain the various and somewhat inconsistent spellings that appear throughout these volumes. Most, if not all, of the transcriptions from which the various texts were created from John Francis Campbell’s manuscript collections in the National Library of Scotland.
LanguageThe stories in the main reflect an informal, story-telling register and range from fairly simple tales such as those concerning animal lore which are told in language easy enough to comprehend. This contrasts almost completely with some of the heroic tales which contain obscure or elaborate rhetoric such as runs, and termed as a’ chruaidh-Ghàidhlig dhomhain ‘deep, hard Gaelic’, which is not so easy comprehend, even to the reciters themselves. In either case, the Gaelic tends to flow and contains a large amount of direct speech which lends immediacy to any given theme contained in each text.
The various items, which are in the main Märchen-type tales, are representative of the richness of oral tradition during the mid-nineteenth century in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. The language, depending upon genre, gives a strong representation of a story-telling register with familiar idiomatic phrases beginning and ending some of the items. For example Bha am ann uair (i, p. 38), Agus dh’ fhag mis’ an sin iad (i, p. 48), Bha tuathanach ann roimhe so (i, p. 68), Thàinig iad dhachidh g’an tigh féin, ’s bha iad gu toilichte (i, p. 70), Bha ann roimhe so (i, p. 86), Chunnaic e gu ’n robh e fada bho a charaid ’s dlu d’a nàmhaid (i, p. 88), ’s mar do shiubhail iad uaidh sin tha iad beo gus an latha ’n diugh (i, p. 95), Chuir e ceangal nan tri chaoil orrra gu daor ’s gu docair (i, p. 140), ’s rinn iad banais mhòr ghreadhnach a mhari seachd lathan ’s seachd bliadhna… (i, p. 179), Chunnaic iad solus fada uatha, ’s ma b’ fhada uatha cha b’ fhada bha iadsan ’ga ruigheachd (i, p. 188), Chuir iad còmhla ’s dhealaich mise riutha, ’s dhealaibh iadsan riumsa (i, p. 218), agus bha iad fada beò gu subhach còmhla (ii, p. 144), Uair de na h-uairean (ii, p. 197), air chùl gaotha, ’s air aghaidh gréine far am faiceadh iad gach duine ’s nach faiceadh duine iad (ii, p. 222), Labhair e rithe ann am briathra fisneacha, foisneacha, fìor-ghlic, mìne, maighdeana, fìor-eolais (ii, p. 475), Rinneadh banais a mhair lath’ agus bliadhna, ’s bha ’n latha ma dheireadh dhi cho math ris a’ chiad latha (ii, p. 483).
Other idiomatic phrases appear throughout the text, e.g., gabhail aige gu maithe ’s gu ro mhaith, Latha do na làithibh (i, p. 41), mu mharbh mheadhain-na h-oidhche so (i, p. 41).
Occasionally runs appear in some of the items, e.g., ’s thog iad na siùil bhreaca, bhaidealach ri aghaidh nan crann fada, fullanach, ’s cha robh crann gun lùbadh na seòl gun reubadh, ’s bha faochagan ruadh a chladaich a glagadaich air a h-urlar (i, p. 141), Thog mi na tri siùil bhreaca, bhaidealach an aodann nan Crann fada, fulannach, fiùighidh. ’Se bu cheòl dhomh plubarsaich easgann, ’s béiceardaich fhaoileann; a’ bhéisd a bu mhotha ’g itheadh na béisd a bu lugha, ’s a’ bhéisd a bu lugha dèanadh mar a dh’ fhaodadh i (ii, p. 225), “Tha mise a’ cuir mar chrosaibh ’s mar gheasaibh ’s mar eusaibh na bliadhna ortsa, nach bi thu gun loba a’ d’ bhròig, a’s gum bi thu gu fliuch, fuar, salach, gus gu’m faigh thu dhomhsa, an eun as an d’ thainig an iteag sin (ii, p. 357).
When English words appear they are usually italicised, e.g., philot (i, p. 142), press (ii, p. 133), chabin (ii, p. 133), owner (ii, p. 133), waggon (ii, p. 135), trump (ii, p. 135), deck (ii, p. 138), coach (ii, p. 140), groom (ii, p. 175).
Sporadic typographical errors rather mar the various texts and appear throughout but given the context they rarely, if at all, affect the comprehension of the text, e.g., Bhùidhinn (i, p. 12), Chàidh (i, p. 12), ammoich (i, p. 16), gheobheadh (i, p. 17), Cha u robh (ii, p. 21), dhèug (ii, p. 42), frìdh (ii, p. 43), drìom (ii, p. 54), Dugh (ii, p. 55), Tháinig (ii, p. 90), feadhain (ii, p. 116), ch mi (ii, p. 116), tigh sheise (ii, p. 135).
The copula is usually realised thus ’s e (i, p. 178), ’se (i, p. 252), be (i, p. 253), b’e (i, p. 255), gur h-e (ii, p. 91)
There is an inconsistent use of accents through the text e.g., thainig (i, p. 12), nadur (i, p. 12), co ’chi ’d dheigh (i, p. 14), dàmhsa and damhsa (i, p. 43), fein (ii, p. 17), pùinsean and puinsean (ii, p. 41).
There are also inconsistent spellings of the same words, e.g., fathasd (i, p. 14) but also fathast (i, p. 41), rithisd (i, p. 15) rithist (i, p. 44) and a rìs (i, p. 120), mhinid (ii, p. 194) and mhionaid (ii, p. 195), dh’ fhoighneachd (iii, p. 116) and dh’ fhoighnichd (iii, p. 117).
There is an inconsistent use of the apostrophe, e.g., Dh fhàg (i, p. 17), Dh ’fholbh (i, p. 17) and inconsistent use of hyphen, e.g., na huidhbir (i, p. 18), fad na h-’oidhche (i, p. 47), fad na h-oidhche (i, p. 47), gur h’ ann (ii, p. 89), anis (ii, p. 117). Also intrusive use of apostrophe or hyphen, e.g., gu’e è (i, p. 39), ’ga ’ruigheachd (i, p. 39), fad na h-’-oidhche (i, p. 47), e’g-iasgach (i, p. 87), b-àbhaist (i, p. 87), ’bhi (i, p.125).
Older spellings appear throughout the text, e.g., chomhnuidh (i, p. 12), laidhe (i, p. 12), thubhairt (i, p. 12) but also thuirt (i, p. 12), siod (i, p. 12) and sud (i, p. 253), ’g am thobhairste (i, p. 12), stàbull (i, p. 13), dhachaidh (i, p. 13), rud-eigin (i, p. 14), la’r na mhàireach (i, p. 15), cha-n ’eil (i, p. 15), cha ’n ’eil (i, p. 44), Chan ’neil (i, p. 175), so (i, p. 16), airgeid (i, p. 18), airgiod (i, p. 48), tigh (i, p. 39), maduinn (i, p. 39), air son (i, p. 40), dorus (i, p. 40), stigh (i, p. 44), timchioll (i, p. 68), ciod (i, p. 15), beulthaobh (i, p. 119), riabh (i, p. 120), naigheachd (i, p. 122), staighir (i, p. 126), Sasunn (i, p. 139), caibhtinn (i, p. 191), muidh (i, p. 204), ruagha (i, p. 266), searbhannt’ (ii, p. 19) but also searbhanta (ii, 19), stugh (ii, p. 20), Gaeltachd (ii, p. 34), caigionn (ii, p. 49), tighich (ii, p. 90), bialthaobh (ii, p. 90), aobhar (ii, p. 138), cuignear (i, p. 176), briagan (ii, p. 116), briagh (ii, p. 174), miosg (ii, p. 176), seachduin (ii, p. 264), sithionn (ii, p. 357), mairionn (ii, p. 395), am miosg (ii, p. 442), sanus (ii, p. 476), corruich (iii, p. 32), thiotamh (iii, p. 32).
Elision is prominent throughout the text, e.g., Bha’n (i, p. 13), tha ’n (i, p. 13), ma’ghan.
Epenthetic vowels are occasional realised, e.g., anamoiche (i, p. 13), an t-anamoch (i, p. 16) but also anmoich (i, p. 18), leanabh (i, p. 154), seanachaidh (i, p. 252), mhaighistear (ii, p. 337).
Dative plural occasionally appears, e.g., beanntaibh (i, p. 39), barraibh (i, p. 265), nithibh (ii, p. 43), Thallaibh (ii, p. 134), tàirnibh (ii, p. 136), togaibh (ii, p. 136), bhonnaibh (ii, p. 176), bhrògaibh (ii, p. 176), maithibh (iii, p. 55).
Passive voice occasionally appears, e.g., Beirear (i, p. 41), thigear (i, p. 42), faicear (i, p. 43), chithear (i, p. 86), b’ urrainnear (ii, p. 175), aithneachar (ii, p. 193).
Inconsistent use of the personal pronoun, e.g., ’na rìgh but also ann ad sgalaig (i, p. 254). Both t and d are used, e.g., t-fhacal (i, p. 42) but also d’fhuil (i, p. 42).
Occasionally contractions for agus are used, e.g., as and us (ii, p. 270), s and ’s (ii, p. 336) as well as a’s (ii, p. 337).
Other spellings of note are Am bheil (i, p. 140), còca’ (ii, p.97) for cò dha.
Rare words also appear, e.g., gemeartach (i, p. 140), pìth (ii, p. 42), spoch (ii, p. 91), Amhradh (ii, p. 197), géineagan (ii, p. 221), splèumas (ii, p. 297), abarsgaic (ii, p. 298), faotinn (ii, p. 304), fasgabhaidh (ii, p. 304), laor (ii, p. 305), anbharra (ii, p. 363).

An attempt has been made to reflect Gaelic dialects from the various reciters but it is sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to tell whether these are typographical errors or otherwise. Only a systematic comparison of the manuscripts from which the texts have been created may reveal whether or not they are in fact typographical errors, e.g., Dh’fholbh (i, p. 13), demur (i, p. 13), tuillidh (i, p. 13), nur (i, p. 14) and ’nur (i, p. 15), omhainn (i, p. 68), èud (i, p. 68), doruisd (i, p. 68), dur (i, p. 86), cùth (i, p. 88), sgeadachainn (i, p. 90), lan fola (i, p. 91), gu maith (i, p. 92), sgeùil (i, p. 92), luidhe (i, p. 94), gheobh (i, p. 118), ursa (i, p. 121), gu diongalta (i, p. 121), sòraichte (i, p. 122), anns a’ mhaidinn (i, p. 123), roimhid (i, p. 125), dhoibh (i, p. 139), deàn (i, p. 140), dhoibh (i, p. 142), còmhladh (i, p. 142), cionnas (i, p. 144), cuignear (i, p. 153), dh’ fhairslich (i, p. 153), dur (i, p. 154), urra (i, p. 192), dorusd (i, p. 192), leobhar (i, p. 192), leith (i, p. 241), trò (i, p. 253), obhainn (i, p. 266), drìom (i, p. 267), an t-sèathamh (i, p. 309) and an t-seatho (i, p. 309), chomhnadal (ii, p. 16), ’rair (ii, p. 21), bitheag (ii, p. 34), sheasaidh (ii, p. 34), domh (ii, p. 41), co (ii, p. 42), lùgh (ii, p. 48), siamain (ii, p. 54), aunn (ii, p. 80), dhianadh (ii, p. 89), duit (ii, p. 89), gad (ii, p. 91), teaunn (ii, p. 91), bicheanta (ii, p. 96), daull (ii, p. 116), dh’ éiridh (ii, p. 177), feòraidh (ii, p. 117), gos (ii, p. 133), gon (ii, p. 133), gom (ii, p. 133), bràthach (ii, p. 133), gor (ii, p. 135), leobhar (ii, p. 136), Cémur (ii, p. 170), aislig (ii, p. 170), e fhìn (ii, p. 173), sgithin (ii, p. 194), diat (ii, p. 195), àdsan (ii, p. 196), Sasnach (ii, p. 239), bràch (ii, p. 240), aunnta (ii, p. 241), teith (ii, p. 241), cìbear (ii, p. 242), dàr-sa màireach (ii, p. 265), musach (ii, p. 267), feudadh (ii, p. 296), pund (ii, p. 296), gheibhidh (ii, p. 333), doiribh (ii, p. 333), bhiodhs (ii, p. 333), agum (ii, p. 333), agut (ii, p. 333), chòir (ii, p. 333), Gar son (ii, p. 334), leigeol (ii, p. 334), faicidh (ii, p. 335), thobhairt (ii, p. 335), fàra (ii, p. 336), dra (ii, p. 338), làidireadh (ii, p. 339), cloch (ii, p. 340), bheulobh (ii, p. 341), uaireiginn (ii¸ p. 357), è (ii, p. 357), fun (ii, p. 359), faot (ii, p. 359), faighidh (ii, p. 359), misidh (ii, p. 359), dh’ fharraidies (ii, p. 360), soillear (ii, p.360), muintireas (ii, p. 360), dearrsgnuidh (ii, p. 360), làroch (ii, p. 393), dheanag (ii, p. 393), ’tuiteag (ii, p. 393), marbhag (ii, p. 393), trithumh (ii, p. 394), mairoch (ii, p. 394), thìolagag (ii, p. 394), dh’ ainichag (ii, p. 394), ’faoighinn (ii, p. 395), gheamh (ii, p. 395), bitheag (ii, p. 395), gu diarbhag (ii, p. 395), gom (ii, p. 440), diat (ii, p. 440), mias (ii, p. 442), bo mhiosa (ii, p. 442), muinn (ii, p. 446), ’air mhithapadh (ii, p. 471), ad (ii, p. 472), fagoil (ii, p. 473), eisean (ii, p. 481), ghainbheich (iii, p. 33), laidireacha (iii, p. 35), glann (iii, p. 35), arra (iii, p. 58), minn (iii, p. 114), bhanruinn (iii, p. 115), gòrrach (iii, p. 117), roighinn (iii, p. 117), fhaoidinn (iii, p. 124).
OrthographyCampbell states in his Introduction that he ‘requested those who wrote for me to take down the words as they were spoken, and to write as they would speak themselves; and the Gaelic of the tales is the result of such a process (pp. cxv-cxvi). On the question of orthography, Campbell states in his Introduction that he consulted his Gaelic mentor Hector MacLean whom he knew ‘to be free of prejudice, and who knows the rules of Gaelic spelling, to correct the press…and to spell the sounds which he heard, according to the principles of Gaelic orthography.’ (p. cxvi). Campbell further explains the challenge of representing the Gaelic transcriptions faithfully with conventional orthography (pp. cxviii) and in this matter he concluded that it was a case of making concessions between the spoken and written word.
The orthography conforms to the mid-nineteenth century whereby the grave and acute are retained. Accents are shown very occasionally on capital letters.
EditionSecond and revised edition. The two-volume Popular Tales of the West Highlands (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 1994), reproduces the text of the 1890-93 edition with the exception vol. 4.
Other Sources
Further ReadingBennett, Margaret, ‘John Francis Campbell of Islay: Iain Og Ile’, Journal of the Clan Campbell Society, no. 29 (2002), 1-7.
Campbell, John Francis, More West Highland Tales, vol. 1, ed. by John G. McKay, W. J. Watson, Donald Maclean and H. J. Rose (Edinburgh, 1940: Oliver & Boyd).
Campbell, John Francis, More West Highland Tales, vol. 1, ed. by John G. McKay, Angus Matheson, John MacInnes, H. J. Rose and Kenneth H. Jackson (Edinburgh, 1960: Oliver & Boyd).
Delargy, James H., ‘Three Men of Islay’, Scottish Studies, vol. 41(1960), 126-33.
Dewar, John, The Dewar Manuscripts Vol. 1: Scottish West Highland Folk Tales, ed. John Mackechnie (Glasgow, 1964: William MacLellan & Co.).
Dorson, Richard M., The British Folklorists: A History (London, 1968: Routledge).
Duncan, Angus, ‘Campbell’s West Highland Tales, An Gaidheal, leabh. LVI, àir. 2 (An Gearran, 1961), 20-21.
Evans, D. Wyn, John Francis Campbell, of Islay, 1822-1885, and Norway ([n.p.], 1963: []).
Mackay, Margaret A. ‘Here I Am in Another World: John Francis Campbell and Tiree’, Scottish Studies, vol. 32 (1993), 119-24.
Maciver, Iain F. Lamplighter and Story-teller: John Francis Campbell of Islay 1821-1885 (Edinburgh, 1985: National Library of Scotland).
MacThomais, Frang, ‘The Fairy Egg—And What Came Out Of It’, For A Celtic Future: A Tribute to Allan Heusaff (Dublin, 1983: The Celtic League), 27-40.
Nutt, Alfred, ‘The Campbell of Islay MSS, at the Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh’, Folk-Lore, vol. 1 (1980), 369-81.
Pratt, James A., ‘Campbell, John Francis, of Islay (1821?-1885)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 9 (Oxford, 2004: Oxford University Press), 835.
Shaw, John, ‘The Collectors: John Francis Campbell and Alexander Carmichael’ in Isla Jack (ed.), The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature: Enlightenment, Britain and Empire (1707-1918) (Edinburgh, 2007: Edinburgh University Press), 347-52.
Thompson, Frank G., ‘John Francis Campbell’, Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness, vol. LIV (1984-86), 1-57.
Thompson, Frank G., ‘John Francis Campbell’, Folklore, vol. 101 (1990i), 88-96.
Wiseman, Andrew E. M., ‘The Dewar Manuscripts: an overview’ in Michel Byrne, Thomas O. Clancy & Sheila M. Kidd (eds.), Litreachas & Eachdraidh: Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 2: Papers from the Second Conference of Scottish Gaelic Studies, Glasgow 2002 (Glasgow, 2005: University of Glasgow, Dept. of Celtic), 161-82.
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