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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Irish Saints and other Human Oddities

In the course of researching my new novel–(what a terrible thrill I just got when I typed that!)–I came across a delightful book called Irish Eccentrics by Peter Somerville-Large. The chapter on “Miracle Makers, Rhymers, Witches, Giants and Oddities” is especially weird and entertaining:

There were ten speckled saints and eleven leper saints. Others more fantastical had attributes connected with ancient fertility beliefs. Many were prolific, like the female saint, Darerca, who had seventeen sons and two daughters. The sons all became bishops while the daughters remained virgins. A bisexual like Mochue Cicheach had remarkable breasts which ‘fed babies of future eminence.’ Other saints had three and even four breasts. Others were odder still, like Fer Caille, who had buttocks like cheese, one arm and one leg and a long enough nose to be looped around the branch of a tree.

(No, I’m not making this up.)

More excerpts to follow…

4 Comments to Irish Saints and other Human Oddities

  1. Daniel's Gravatar Daniel
    February 19, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Wow – those are awesome! Nose long enough to wrap around the tree… Does it have Saint Moling? I read about him once that he was like the saintly version of Renfield – he ate a bird that ate a spider that ate a fly, then barfed up the bird who barfed up the spider who barfed up the fly, and they were all unharmed! Sorry to write "barf" so many times in your comments 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Pare's Gravatar Pare
    February 19, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Well, gee, doesn't the cover say it all?

  3. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    February 20, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    "Buttock like cheese" … where do you find this stuff?! 😉

  4. Camille's Gravatar Camille
    February 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Cheese and butts. Right up your alley.

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.