A hundred years ago, when children were often instructed in Greek or Norse mythological stories, this collection of Celtic myths would have been a most interesting surprise. The author's foreword (addressed to the Grown-up Reader) explains his purpose as being to 'help to bring the gods home!' The ten tales are largely drawn from Scottish and Irish tradition, and would appeal to any child, of any age.
Little is known about the author - apart from this book, he is known to have written a single one-act play ('The Door on t'Chain'), thought to have appeared in the mid=-1930s, and also contributed a piece to a March 1918 issue of the pulp magazine 'Top-Notch'.
Noël Laura Nisbet (1887-1956) was an English artist of Scottish descent. She illustrated five books of fairy tales and legends and the majority of her Royal Academy exhibits (1914-1938) were in the same vein.
Ours is a rare 1st edition copy, and in remarkably good condition for its age. The olive-greenish cloth covers are rather grubby, but there is very little sign of wear exteriorly - very slight bumping of corners, some shelfwear to top & bottom of the spine, and a little loss of colour on edges and spine angles. The gilt title on the spine is very faded. Title & author details are in Celtic-style script in dark blue on the front cover, which also features a pasted copy of the second illustration. The four full page colour illustrations (including the frontispiece) are printed on special paper. The binding is firm and there is no foxing. The pages are clean - however, two are quite badly torn horizontally (with no loss) and two others have small loss at the lower corner (see photos). A brown stain is visible on the outer edges of pp. 95-122 (but not all the pages are affected, as they are of varying widths). An ink-written gift inscription is on the front free endpaper, and its 'ghost' appears on the (very browned) halftitle page. A very nice copy of a rare survivor.