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Becfola


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[Ir., small dowry].

Wife of Diarmait, king of Tara, whose story is told in Tochmarc Becfhola [The Wooing of Becfola] in the Cycle of Kings. Unhappy in her arranged marriage with Diarmait, Becfola lusted after the king's fosterling, Crimthann. On her urging the young couple planned to elope, but Crimthann did not arrive as he would not travel on a Sunday. Instead she met a fairy lover, Flann ua Fedach, not known before and they spent the night together on an island in Lough Erne, although they did not consummate their love. In the morning she returned to Tara; their time away appeared only an instant to ordinary mortals. Later Flann came in disguise, and they left together.

See Standish Hayes O'Grady, ‘Tochmarc Becfola’, in Silva Gadelica (London, 1892), i. 85–7 (text);ii. 91–3 (translation).See also Myles Dillon, ‘The Wooing of Becfola, and the Stories of Cano, Son of Gartnáin’, Modern Philology, 43 (1945), 11–17.

Subjects: Religion.


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