James Stephens (1882-1950) was an Irish novelist and poet who
sometimes wrote under the pen name James Esse. James Stephens wrote
many retellings of Irish fairy tales. His retellings are marked by
a rare combination of humour and lyricism. Deirdre (1923) and Irish
Fairy Tales (1920) are often singled out for praise. Stephens began
his career as a poet under the tutelage of George William Russell;
his first book of poems, Insurrections, was published in 1909. He
also wrote several books such as The Demi-Gods (1914) and Etched in
Moonlight (1928) which are fiction, but loosely based on Irish
fairy tales. The Crock of Gold (1912), in particular, achieved
enduring popularity, and was frequently reprinted throughout the
author's lifetime. His other works include: The Charwoman's
Daughter (1912), Here are Ladies (1913) and The Insurrection in
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