The Crock of Gold
Read by Gerry O'Brien
One of the great novels in the Irish comic tradition, The Crock of Gold (1912) consists of six parts. Bringing together pagan gods, policemen, prisoners, leprechauns and animals, the narrative concerns a philosopher and his quest to find the most beautiful woman in the world, Cáitilin Ni Murrachu, who has been abducted by the god Pan. His journey takes him from dark forests to the spectacular heights of pagan gods, as he experiences encounters that will change him forever.
With its unique combination of philosophy and Irish folklore, The Crock of Gold is full of humour, its central themes including the battle of the sexes and the difference between men and women.
Running Time: 5 h 46 m
More product details
Digital ISBN: 978-1-78198-437-6 Cat. no.: NA0572 Produced by: Neil Rosser Edited by: Timothy Brown BISAC: FIC004000 BIC: FC Released: March 23
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I had never heard of The Crock of Gold (1912) or of James Stephens (1880–1950); I now know that The Crock of Gold is a fey miracle of satiric humour that frolics along thanks to Gerry O’Brien’s lilting, gusto-filled narration, and that Stephens was a friend of James Joyce, who in 1909 called him ‘the latest Irish genius’ and asked him to finish Finnegans Wake if he couldn’t.
Born in the Dublin slums and committed for begging to the Meath Reform School, Stephens made good – drinking up Irish culture and producing a succession of acclaimed novels and stories. The Crock of Gold is the tale of two wise philosophers, their two wiser wives who hail from the fairy Shee, and their two children, to say nothing of a coven of angry leprechauns in search of their stolen crock of gold and, dancing over all, the great gods Pan and Aengus Og. There are plenty of funny lines and much memorable wisdom. I hope Naxos will record Stephens’s Irish Fairy Tales next.
Christina Hardyment, The Times