The Courtship of Ferb: An Old Irish Romance transcribed in the Twelfth Century into the Book of Leister is an Irish romance, whose earliest written version is found in the twelfth-century manuscript known as the Book of Leinster. It is a notable example of cante fable, a term for spoken prose narratives interspersed with short songs conveying crucial information (e.g. magical utterances, riddles, threats, etc.).
The Courtship of Ferb belongs to a group of romances which, taken together, tell the story of what has been called the Heroic Age of Ireland. These romances were put into their present form at various periods between the seventh and tenth centuries. The central plot of the romances is the state of warfare between the kingdoms of Ulster and of Connaught with characters such as Conachar (or Conor), king of Ulster, and Medb or Maev), queen of Connaught.
Why not delve into the mystical world of old Irish romance this St. Patrick’s Day? Come and visit us in Special Collections on the second floor of the Bartle Library.