Carmichael & Matheson (1954) Carmina Gadelica: Ortha nan Gaidheal (Vol. 5) – Hymns and Incantations


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Carmichael, Alexander (ed. Angus Matheson). Ortha nan Gaidheal  Hymns and Incantations With Illustrative Notes on Words, Rites and Customs, Dying and Obsolete: Orally Collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. (Edinburgh and London: Oliver and Boyd, 1954) Volume 5. Each volume after volume 2 was issued separately (See Wikipedia quote below).

Quarto. xxiv, 403 pages including Frontispiece and Table of Contents. Scots Gaelic on left hand pages, English on right. Hardcover. Quarterbound in red cloth, stamped in gilt on spine. No dj. Top edge stained red, untrimmed edges.  Original bill of sale laid in.

Condition: Spotting to red stain on top edge. Binding is solid, hinges tight. Gilt on spine is bright.  Light foxing on title page.

Provenance: Sold by John Grant, Bookseller of Edinburgh to S. P. Bayard of State College, PA and mailed to him Nov. 30, 1954 based on receipt laid in.

Carmina Gadelica is a compendium of prayers, hymns, charms, incantations, blessings, literary-folkloric poems and songs, proverbs, lexical items, historical anecdotes, natural history observations, and miscellaneous lore gathered in the Gaelic-speaking regions of Scotland between 1860 and 1909. The material was recorded, translated, and reworked by the exciseman and folklorist Alexander Carmichael (1832–1912).

Carmina Gadelica was published in six volumes: Alexander Carmichael himself, with the assistance of family and friends, was responsible for the first two volumes, published in 1900; these were re-edited by his daughter Ella (1870–1928) in 1928. Although Carmichael’s correspondence suggests that he planned at least one further volume in the series, he was unable to bring this plan to fruition. Further selections from Carmichael’s manuscripts were edited by his grandson James Carmichael Watson (1910–1942) and published as volumes III (1940) and IV (1941). A fifth volume, mostly taken up with song texts, was edited by Professor Angus Matheson (1912–1962) in 1954. The series was rounded off in 1971 with a sixth volume containing a lengthy glossary and indices, edited by Angus Matheson with the assistance of his brother William (1910–1995). In 1992 Floris Press published a one-volume English-language edition with a valuable introduction by Dr John MacInnes (b. 1930). Floris would reprint the entire six-volume series in 2006. – Wikipedia (which see)