Wikipedia claims that Brian Stowell's Dunveryssyn yn Tooder-Folley (The Vampire Murders), published in 2006, was "the first full-length Manx novel". This claim is sourced to a 2006 new article from the Isle of Man Today, which is archived on the Wayback Machine and claims that Dunveryssyn yn Tooder-Folley "is believed to be the first full-length novel written in Manx". These weasel words aren't enough to satisfy me. Given that Manx literature has a centuries-long history, it might be surprising that the first Manx novel would be published in 2006, but then again it probably depends on what's meant by "novel".

Is it true that Dunveryssyn yn Tooder-Folley was the first novel that was originally written in Manx Gaelic?

I realise that the answer may depend on how we define "novel", but let's be clear at least that translations from other languages, including other Gaelic languages, don't count. Are there any other contenders from Manx literature that might be considered to be "novels", from earlier than 2006?

  • Edward Faragher and Lewis Crellin both published stories in the early 20th century, which you might combine into a longer narrative, but they were non-fiction (seemingly). Poetry was more central to the culture, along with religious tracts and later drama. It's possible an unpublished novel lurks in a drawer (a lot of Faragher's work wasn't published in his lifetime), but you have to suppose that if a novel existed prior to 2006 it would be publicised. As a comparison, the first novel in Scottish Gaelic was either Dùn Aluinn or An t-Ogha Mòr, both published around 1910.
    – Stuart F
    Jun 20, 2022 at 10:36


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