Luath Press Limited, 543/2 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 2ND
Tel: 0131 225 4326

The Old Grey Magician

The Old Grey Magician

A Scottish Fionn Cycle

Availability: Out of stock


No eBook available

The Old Grey Magician is a collection of Scots-Irish folklore surrounding the long-enduring characters of Fionn and his men. These stories have been preserved by the oral storytelling tradition from the Scottish Highlands and Islands, and these versions are presented here in print for the first time.

Title The Old Grey Magician
Subtitle A Scottish Fionn Cycle
Author George Macpherson
ISBN 9781910745410
Binding Paperback
Author Bio

Author of Highland Myths and Legends, George W. MacPherson has followed the oral traditions handed down through generations of his family, and has become one of the best known traditional storytellers in Scotland. George’s storytelling technique is both memorable and distinctive, capable of captivating any audience, young or old, all over the world.

George has also published a historical account of John MacPherson, Skye Martyr, and a book of traditional stories North West Skye. He has also had published many articles in papers and magazines, both prose and poetry, on a variety of subjects. A participant in the Edinburgh Storytelling Festival for ten years, he also organises the annual Skye and Lochalsh Storytelling Festival and opened the Commonwealth Heads of State Convention in Edinburgh with one of his stories. George lives in Glendale on the Isle of Skye.

Back Cover Text

Fionn Cycle: A loose collection of tales originating in Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man which surround hunter-warrior leader Fionn, his band of men and his poet son, Ossian.

Old Grey Magician: A mystical, morally ambivalent figure who appears throughout Celtic mythology; in Ireland he is the Dark Druid, and often he appears as a seabird. The shapeshifting sorcerer is a thorn in Fionn’s side, solving impossible problems but always asking too much in return.

George W Macpherson has been telling the traditional tales of Fionn and the Fianna for years, artfully drawing in audiences with his storytelling talent. Gathered from sources all over the country and occasionally beyond, and collected here for the first time, the Old Grey Magician’s exploits offer a fascinating insight into the traditions of Scotland and the development of oral storytelling. Introduced and situated in physical and literary history by Donald Smith, this collection reminds us of the importance of retaining the stories that shaped us.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Search for a Story

Sgiath’s Sea Battle

Donnran (The Brown Searcher)

The Feeling of Fear

The Daughter of the King of Spain

The Tribe of Fife

The Cup of Healing: Cupan Beatha

The Rescue of Fionn’s Son

The Death of Diarmid

Fionn and Grainnhe


Spirits of Former Days

Afterword: Ossian Reclaimed

BIC Subject SOC011000 - SOCIAL SCIENCE / Folklore & Mythology
BISAC Subject JFHF - Folklore, myths & legends
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here.