The Irish Storyteller
From P.W. Joyce’s Social History of Ancient Ireland (1908):
“There were professional shanachies and poets whose duty it was to know by heart numerous old tales, poems, and historical pieces, and to recite them, at festive gatherings, for the entertainment of the chiefs and their guests…for though few could read, the knowledge and recitation of poetry and stories reached the whole body of the people. This ancient institution of story-telling held its ground both in Ireland and Scotland down to a period within living memory.”
Storytelling is not a lost art. There are organizations and even week-long festivals celebrating storytelling. Teachers of young children and children’s librarians are storytellers. I found out firsthand that just entering a pub in Ireland will increase your chances of hearing some good tales. Most cultures have their own stories told by storytellers.
What Kind of Stories Did They Tell?
The Power of Stories
Before people could read or have access to books, stories held power and knowledge. You can influence folks through the telling of a story. Who among us would watch the evening news if it was presented to us in a story-like manner? Stories, false ones, are spread around on Facebook every day. The power a story can have over someone can be to inspire them to action, uplift their spirits, bring them joy or laughter. Some have even said stories changed their lives. In that respect the storyteller can be a very important person.
In Annie’s Stories Annie Gallagher learns this and wants to
share it with others. What stories have influenced you?
Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. Cindy is also the author of Brigid of Ireland and Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, which was a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research's Larry Ritter Book Award. In addition to books, Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio.
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