Originally published in the U.S. in 1903 and long out of print, this is the original story on which Walt Disney based his 1959 movie, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, well-known and much-beloved the world over.
Set in turn-of-the-century Ireland, the book is a marvelous collection of tales that tell the story of Darby O'Gill and the Good People, or fairies and leprechauns. And the book is as much about the adventures of Darby O'Gill as it is about Brian Connors, King of the Good People, that lovable rascal.
The book tells of Darby's unwilling sojourn among the fairies and his friendship with King Brian, and of Darby's famous meeting with the Leprechaun in which he matches wits with that granter of three wishes. It tells the fantastic story of how the Good People were expelled from heaven and banished to earth, and why they chose Ireland as their home. It relates the hilarious adventures of King Brian when he is caught out after cock-crow and loses his powers--he is mistaken for a baby and almost christened, and is rescued and entertained by the local ballad-maker and his family until sundown. And finally, it recounts the spectacular story of how Darby does battle and matches wit with the banshee and her ghosts, with the aid of King Brian and the Good People. [via]