For the Love of Ireland: A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers
By: Susan Cahill
Welcome to the Ireland of its WritersWalk the streets of Dublin with Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and Roddy Doyle. Contemplate the wild glens of Wicklow with John Millington Synge and Seamus Heaney. Wander the thrilling Cliffs of Moher with Wallace Stevens. Visit antic Limerick with Frank McCourt; mysterious Coole Park with Lady Gregory; breathtaking Sligo with William Butler Yeats; wild Donegal with Brien Friel; and hidden Clare with Edna O'Brien.No place has inspired more great literature than Ireland, which in each new generation gives birth to an astonishing number of poets, storytellers, and dramatists. For the literary pilgrim to arrive, book in hand, at the pub where Joyce set a scene or the mountain where Yeats imagined a myth is to uncover fresh meaning in the works of writers in love with their native landscape.In For the Love of Ireland, Susan Cahill offers the jewels of Irish literature. Each selection is followed by traveler's advice on how to find and fully experience the place that's about. Whether you take this book with you to Ireland or savor it in your armchair, you will be enriched, ennobled, and entertained by writers of remarkable range and at the top of their form.
The Book of Kells: An Illustrated Introduction to the Manuscript in Trinity College, Dublin (Second Edition)
By: Bernard Meehan
"Beautiful … by far the best modern short account of one of the great monuments of early Irish civilization … required reading for anyone interested in the subject."―The Irish TimesThe Book of Kells is a masterpiece of medieval art―a brilliantly decorated version of the four Gospels with full-page depictions of Christ, the Virgin and the Evangelists as well as a wealth of smaller decorative painting. The strange imagination displayed in the pages, the impeccable technique and the very fine state of preservation make The Book of Kells an object of endless fascination. This edition reproduces the most important of the fully decorated pages plus a series of enlargements showing the almost unbelievable minuteness of the detail; spiral and interlaced patterns, human and animal ornament―a combination of high seriousness and humor. The text is by Bernard Meehan, the Keeper of Manuscripts at Trinity College, Dublin. 110 color illustrations
“Beyond the green land, the pubs and the auburn hair, is a rich culture dating back nine thousand years, including invasions by just about every nation in Northern Europe. The Irish have survived as a people, perhaps because of the genetics of hope, the richness of tale-telling and laughter, and the scent of peat in the air.”—Jay Ben Adlersberg The Emerald Isle is known for its gorgeous countryside, and rightfully so. From the rugged cliffs of the Atlantic coast to the lush meadows and lakes of the interior, Ireland is rich in imagery both awe-inspiring and serene. The vibrant streets of such cities as Dublin and Belfast, where modern architecture rubs shoulders with Georgian townhouses and Norman stonework, testify to the island's 21st century resurgence as the cosmopolitan 'Celtic Tiger.' From the remains of a Bronze Age ring fort to the soaring modern Spire of Dublin to the stallions of the National Stud, Ireland is a land of surprising variety. The rich color images collected here weave together the portrait of a land where Paleolithic monuments, medieval castles, quiet fishing villages, and bustling cities all exist alongside each other. From the eerie, astonishing hexagonal stones of the ‘Giant’s Causeway’ in County Antrim to the cozy atmosphere of the town pub; from breathtaking wild landscapes to the exquisite gardens of stately homes; each page offers a new glimpse of Ireland’s multifarious beauty. The prehistoric tombs of Newgrange, the Gothic peaks of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the sublime scenery of Connemara National Park, and countless country villages, all are here. With a keen visual sensibility, Jay Ben Adlersberg captures the tiniest details and the most magnificent vistas that are at the island’s heart and that make Ireland one of the world’s loveliest places to travel—or to call home. Here, too, is a journey through Ireland’s history. The soaring modern Spire of Dublin monument, the elegant campus of Trinity College, the ancient seat of Ireland’s kings at Tara—each evokes a different moment in Ireland’s many-layered past. Written in the land itself, Ireland’s history appears here in the slope of a thatched roof, in the grass-grown remains of a Bronze Age ring fort, in a field tilled for centuries. Finally, here is the soul of a land where, out of the hardships of the past, have come arts and culture alive with creativity and resilience, from traditional flute and fiddle music to a diverse literary tradition from which thirty poems and literary excerpts have been chosen to accompany Adlersberg’s images, including the romantic prose of James Joyce; the humorous boyhood memories of Frank McCourt; the celebration of natural beauty in the poetry of W.B. Yeats; and the folk tales of Douglas Hyde; as well as numerous others whose writings capture the unique spirit that is Ireland. Samantha Bowser supplies the rich and nuanced captions for the more than two hundred photographs.
How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (The Hinges of History)
By: Thomas Cahill
The perfect St. Patrick's Day gift, and a book in the best tradition of popular history -- the untold story of Ireland's role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe.Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars" -- and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians. In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization -- copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost -- they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task. As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated. In the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, How The Irish Saved Civilization reconstructs an era that few know about but which is central to understanding our past and our cultural heritage. But it conveys its knowledge with a winking wit that aptly captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilization.
Savage and bloodthirsty, or civilized and peaceable? The Celts have long been a subject of enormous fascination, speculation, and misunderstanding. From the ancient Romans to the present day, their real nature has been obscured by a tangled web of preconceived ideas and stereotypes. Barry Cunliffe seeks to reveal this fascinating people for the first time, using an impressive range of evidence, and exploring subjects such as trade, migration, and the evolution of Celtic traditions. Along the way, he exposes the way in which society's needs have shaped our visions of the Celts, and examines such colorful characters as St. Patrick, Cu Chulainn, and Boudica.
If you're looking for a field guide to leprechauns, The Truth About the Irish is not the book for you. But if you can handle a frank and funny look into the minds and hearts of Irish people, you've been touched by that fabled Irish luck. Covering all things Irish from Blarney to Yeats, renowned literary and cultural critic Terry Eagleton separates the myths from the reality with his priceless blend of sidesplitting humor, caustic commentary, and the honest lowdown on the beloved and bewildering country of Ireland.
In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English
By: Carmel McCaffrey, Leo Eaton
This engaging book traces the history, archaeology, and legends of ancient Ireland from 9000 B.C., when nomadic hunter-gatherers appeared in Ireland at the end of the last Ice Age to 1167 A.D., when a Norman invasion brought the country under control of the English crown for the first time. So much of what people today accept as ancient Irish history―Celtic invaders from Euproe turning Ireland into a Celtic nation; St. Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland and converting its people to Christianity―is myth and legend with little basis in reality. The truth is more interesting. The Irish, as the authors show, are not even Celtic in an archaeological sense. And there were plenty of bishops in Ireland before a British missionary called Patrick arrived. But In Search of Ancient Ireland is not simply the story of events from long ago. Across Ireland today are festivals, places, and folk customs that provide a tangible link to events thousands of years past. The authors visit and describe many of these places and festivals, talking to a wide variety of historians, scholars, poets, and storytellers in the very settings where history happened. Thus the book is also a journey on the ground to uncover ten thousand years of Irish identity. In Search of Ancient Ireland is the official companion to the three-part PBS documentary series. With 14 black-and-white photos, 6 b&w illustrations, and 1 map.
Ireland Unhinged: Encounters With a Wildly Changing Country
By: David Monagan
Ireland Unhinged: Encounters with a Wildly Changing Country looks back at the changes that the economic boon wreaked on the Irish countryside, and what the future holds for the country. Connecticut-born David Monagan explores his adopted country through the eyes of a passionate transplant. “What is Ireland? Has it lost its soul?” Monagan keeps asking as he roams from Cork to Dublin, Donegal, and Belfast. His answers are loving, searing, and often laugh-out-loud funny.
In this remarkable feat of imagination and reconstruction Moorhouse shows how the medieval monastic community of The Great Skellig, an island off Ireland's southwest coast, worshipped and survived from 500 bc to ad 1200. The first part of the book is a fictional description of the austere life of the monks beginning with their arrival on the island, withdrawing from the world to a life of prayer, fasting, hardship, and danger. Subsequent scenes depict aspects of Celtic spirituality, a dangerous Viking raid, and spiritual crises. Finally, the abbot and his aging disciples abandon the island following a severe storm. The second part is a collection of short essays describing the many features of medieval monastic life.
The foremost account of Ireland's cultural and spiritual heritageIn 1907 J. M. Synge achieved both notoriety and lasting fame with The Playboy of the Western World. The Aran Islands, published in the same year, records his visits to the islands in 1898-1901, when he was gathering the folklore and anecdotes out of which he forged The Playboy and his other major dramas. Yet this book is much more than a stage in the evolution of Synge the dramatist. As Tim Robinson explains in his introduction, "If Ireland is intriguing as being an island off the west of Europe, then Aran, as an island off the west of Ireland, is still more so; it is Ireland raised to the power of two." Towards the end of the last century Irish nationalists came to identify the area as the country's uncorrupted heart, the repository of its ancient language, culture and spiritual values. It was for these reasons that Yeats suggested Synge visit the islands to record their way of life. The result is a passionate exploration of a triangle of contradictory relationships – between an island community still embedded in its ancestral ways but solicited by modernism, a physical environment of ascetic loveliness and savagely unpredictable moods, and Synge himself, formed by modern European thought but in love with the primitive.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Connemara Mollie: An Irish Journey On Horseback (Bradt Travel Guides (Travel Literature))
By: Hilary Bradt
An account of a journey through western Ireland made in 1984 that centres on the growing bond between the author and her Connemara pony and the many challenges they face before the tragic conclusion in the mountains of Kerry. It is a portrait of rural Ireland, built up from conversations with local people. The journey takes them through Counties Galway, Mayo, Clare and Kerry, the obstacles to their progress ranging from bogs, stone walls, and the River Shannon. "I've never tried hitchhiking with a horse before" comments the author. "It's not easy." She travelled with no set route.
As selected by the author, Opened Ground includes the essential work from Heaney's twelve previous books of poetry, as well as new sequences drawn from two of his landmark translations, The Cure at Troy and Sweeney Astray, and several previously uncollected poems. Heaney's voice is like no other--"by turns mythological and journalistic, rural and sophisticated, reminiscent and impatient, stern and yielding, curt and expansive" (Helen Vendler, The New Yorker)--and this is a one-volume testament to the musicality and precision of that voice. The book closes with Heaney's Nobel Lecture: "Crediting Poetry."
Ireland: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: Brand: Whereabouts Press
What explains the fact that one of the world’s smallest, least assuming countries has consistently been among the top 15 international travel destinations for Americans? Ireland’s appeal can be attributed to many things: its blend of picturesque villages and bustling modern cities, its people known for their warmth, charm, stoicism, and individuality, its history one of the most dramatic of any country on the planet and its rich literary tradition. This engaging collection of short stories captures all these qualities of Ireland and more. Set in the Emerald Isle’s legendary provinces of Ulster, Munster, Leinster, and Connaught, these varied tales by some of the world’s most renowned writers give prospective visitors an immediate feel for the country’s enduring past and exciting present. Frank O’Connor, Liam O’Flaherty, William Trevor, John McGahern, Benedict Kiely, Patrick Kavanugh, Gerry Adams, Hugo Hamilton, and Desmond Hogan are among the talents represented here.
Following the surge of interest and pride in Celtic identity since the 19th century, much of what we thought we knew about the Celts has been radically transformed. From the warriors who nearly defeated Julius Caesar to druids who, contrary to popular opinion, definitely did not worship at Stonehenge, get to know the real Celts. In The Celtic World, discover the incredible story of the Celtic-speaking peoples, whose art, language, and culture once spread from Ireland to Austria. This series of 24 enlightening lectures explains the traditional historical view of who the Celts were, then contrasts it with brand-new evidence from DNA analysis and archeology that totally changes our perspective on where the Celts came from. European history and culture have been profoundly affected by the Celts, from the myth of King Arthur to the very map of the United Kingdom, where the English confronted the peoples of the "Celtic Fringe." With a wealth of historical expertise, Professor Jennifer Paxton, Director of the University Honors Program and Clinical Assistant Professor of History at The Catholic University of America, guides you through each topic related to Celtic history with approachability and ease as you unearth what we once thought it meant-and what it may actually mean-to be Celtic. Professor Paxton's engaging, often humorous delivery blends perfectly with the facts about the Celts to uncover surprising historical revelations. The ancient Celts are very much alive in the literary and artistic traditions that their descendants have both preserved and very deliberately revived. All facets of Celtic life, past and present, are addressed by Professor Paxton, who demonstrates a masterful knowledge and carefully separates fact from myth at every turn. Come along for a ride through history to discover your inner Celt.