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Peig Sayers

(1873—1958) storyteller


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(1873–1958), Irish story-teller. Born into a story-telling family in Vicarstown, Dunquin, Co. Kerry, she went into domestic service in Dingle at the age of 14. She was rescued from a second, less kindly employer by an arranged marriage to Pádraig Ó Gaoithín from the Great Blasket Island. Her contemporary fame as a story-teller increasingly attracted visitors until, encouraged by Máire Ní Chinnéide, she dictated her autobiography Peig (1936) to her son, Mícheál, being unable to write Irish herself. Machtnamh Seana-Mhná (1939) contains further recollections. Seosamh Ó Dálaigh recorded 360 of her tales, which remain unpublished, for the Irish Folklore Commission. In her last years Peig Sayers settled on the mainland prior to the official evacuation of the Blasket Islands in 1953.

From The Concise Oxford Companion to Irish Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.


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