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The Legend of St Brendan: A Critical Bibliography

The Legend of St Brendan: A Critical Bibliography

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St Brendan, was an Irish monk who died c. 575. He wrote the eighth-century tale ‘The Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbot’, which describes a voyage undertaken by the saint in search of a wonderful island in the ocean, the ‘Land of Promise’. The tale catapulted him to cult status as ‘Brendan the Navigator’. It was a medieval bestseller which had an important influence on cartography and the discovery of the New World, as a source of inspiration for Christopher Columbus. There also survives a Life of St Brendan. This volume presents the surviving texts and scholarly works inspired by the real and the legendary St Brendan in the form of a critical bibliography. It accounts of the diverse and fascinating aspects of both the real and the legendary Brendan. Part One lists primary material, mainly manuscripts, editions and translations. Allusions to Brendan in a number of medieval texts are included, as are some examples of modern literary treatments of the legend. Part Two lists secondary material in the form of articles and chapters or sections of books. The volume represents a stately contribution to the scholarship of the Brendan legend and will be the standard biographical work on the subject for years to come.

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