Making the Book of Fenagh

This year (2016) sees the 500th anniversary of the making of the manuscript now known as the Book of Fenagh (see https://www.ria.ie/library/catalogues/special-collections/medieval-and-early-modern-manuscripts/book-fenagh-leabar).  Central to this manuscript is the only surviving life of St Caillin of Fenagh and the manuscript is an important survival of late medieval hagiography in south Ulster.

In order to mark this anniversary, a volume of scholarly essays entitled Making the Book of Fenagh: Context and Text and edited by Raymond Gillespie (MU), Salvador Ryan (SPCM) and Brendan Scott (editor of the historical journal, Breifne), has just been published. It brings together seven experts in the fields of archaeology, history, hagiography, and material culture to examine this manuscript and its contents from a new interdisciplinary perspective. The result is a significant contribution to the understanding of late medieval hagiography and the history of the church in south Ulster.

Contributors: Bernadette Cunningham (Royal Irish Academy), Raymond Gillespie (Maynooth University), Liam Kelly (historian and Vicar General, diocese of Kilmore), Paul Mullarkey (National Museum of Ireland), Pádraig Ó Riain (professor emeritus of early and medieval Irish, University College Cork), Chris Read (Sligo Institute of Technology), Brendan Scott (editor, Breifne).

The volume is published by Cumann Seanchas Bhreifne (Breifne Historical Society), which has a distinguished record in publishing works relating to south Ulster. This project has also been generously supported by the D’Alton Bequest, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

Making the Book of Fenagh cover image cropped