The first part has, I think, the most complicated plot of any Irish romance, it abounds in brilliant descriptions, and, although the original is in prose, it is, in feeling, highly poetic. The Tain bo Fraich, the Driving of the Cattle of Fraech, has apparently only one version; the different manuscripts which contain it differing in very small points ; most of which seem to be due to scribal errors. Practically the tale consists of two quite separate parts. The first, the longer portion, gives the adventures of Fraech at the court of Ailill and Maev of Connaught, his courtship of their daughter, Finnabar, and closes with a promised betrothal. The second part is an account of an expedition undertaken by Fraech to the Alps " in the north of the land of the Long-Beards," to recover stolen cattle, as well as "his wife," who is stated by O'Beirne Crowe, on the authority of the " Courtship of Trehla'ad " in the Book of Fermoy, to have been Trebland, a semi-deity, Hke Fraech himself.


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Heroic Romances of Ireland Volume 2 - AH Leahy 1906