On an Irish Island tells the remarkable story of a remote outpost nearly untouched by time in the first half of the twentieth century, and of the adventurous men and women who visited and were inspired by it.In a love letter to a vanished way of life, Robert Kanigel brings to life this wildly beautiful island, notable for the vivid communal life of its residents and the unadulterated Irish they spoke well into the twentieth century. With the Irish language rapidly disappearing, Great Blasket became a magnet for scholars, linguists, and writers during the Gaelic renaissance. As we follow these visitors--among them John Millington Synge, author of The Playboy of the Western World--we are captivated both by the tiny group of islanders who kept an entire country's past alive and by their complex relationships with those who brought the island's story to the larger world.
To understand modern Ireland one must understand the history of Ireland. Its legends, religious and political life, culture, and wider contributions to the world remain linked to its rich past.In The Story of the Irish Race, popular writer and storyteller Seumas MacManus provides a wide-ranging look at the development of Ireland and its people. Beginning with the early colonization by the Milesius of Spain, MacManus explores ancient stories about the Tuatha De Danann, Cuchullain, Fionn and the Fian, Irish invasions of Britain, St. Bridget and St. Patrick, Irish missionaries and scholars abroad, and life and culture in ancient and medieval Ireland. He also investigates more recent events and names in Irish history, such as Oliver Cromwell, "The Wild Geese," Wolfe Tone, Daniel O'Connell, the Fenians, the Famine, Charles Stewart Parnell, and the Land League. From its earliest days to the Easter Rising, MacManus provides an entertaining and enlightening look at one of the most fascinating cultures we know.
A unique contemporary analysis of the huge imperial mapping project of the British Government in nineteenth century Ireland, which describes as well as re-interprets the value of science and modernity as practiced by the British empire. The book raises questions about representation and academic discourses and highlights and interprets colonial techniques of observation and description. The nature of "evidence" within colonial archive is also questioned. Focussing on the main aspects of the survey from a contemporary theoretical perspective it both enlivens the original documents and serves as a sensitive critique of it. The main themes are ethnographic description, translation and cartography and the relationship between them in the nineteenth century. Central to this is the emerging 'view' of Ireland and the Irish and the idea of the project as representative of early Irish ethnography. The book contains new findings in relation to renowned scholars such as John O'Donovan and re-engages with the Friel.vs Andrews debate on 'Translation and Irish Culture' The book should be of wide interest to folklorists, cultural sociologists, geographers, historians, ethnologists, cultural studies, Irish language scholars and the general reader with an interest in Ireland.
One of Europe's most important literary figures, Jonathan Swift was also an inspired humorist, a beloved companion, and a conscientious Anglican minister--as well as a hoaxer and a teller of tales. His anger against abuses of power would produce the most famous satires of the English language: Gulliver's Travels as well as the Drapier Papers and the unparalleled Modest Proposal, in which he imagined the poor of Ireland farming their infants for the tables of wealthy colonists.
John Stubbs's biography captures the dirt and beauty of a world that Swift both scorned and sought to amend. It follows Swift through his many battles, for and against authority, and in his many contradictions, as a priest who sought to uphold the dogma of his church; as a man who was quite prepared to defy convention, not least in his unshakable attachment to an unmarried woman, his "Stella"; and as a writer whose vision showed that no single creed holds all the answers.
Impeccably researched and beautifully told, in Jonathan Swift Stubbs has found the perfect subject for this masterfully told biography of a reluctant rebel--a voice of withering disenchantment unrivaled in English.
We know from our literary histories that there was a movement called the Irish Literary Renaissance, and that Yeats was at its head. We know from our political histories that there is now a Republic of Ireland because of a nationalistic movement that, militarily, began with the insurrection of Easter Week, 1916. But what do these two movements have to do with one another?...
Because I came to history with literary eyes, I could not help seeing history in terms and shapes of imaginative experience. Thus Movement, Myth, and Image came to be the way in which the nature of the insurrection appeared to me. This method of analyzing historical event as if it were a work of art is not altogether as inappropriate as it might seem when the historical event happens to be a revolution. The Irish revolutionaries lived as if they were in a work of art, and this inability to tell the difference between sober reality and the realm of imagination is perhaps one very important characteristic of a revolutionary. The tragedy of actuality comes from the fact that when, in a revolution, history is made momentarily into a work of art, human beings become the material that must be ordered, molded, or twisted into shape. (from the preface)
"The whole race...is madly fond of war, high-spirited and quick to battle...and on whatever pretext you stir them up, you will have them ready to face danger, even if they have nothing on their own side but their own strength and courage" - Strabo, first century BC. Warlike, flamboyant, courageous - the ancient Celts had a fearsome reputation, even among the bellicose Romans. For 500 years they dominated the barbarian lands north of the Alps, before being largely absorbed into the Roman Empire. But Celtic culture survived and achieved a glorious flowering in the post-Roman, early Christian era. Today Celtic influence can be found everywhere, in arts and crafts, in legends, in placenames and even in the languages we speak. In this new introduction to the world of the Celts, Simon James looks at all aspects of their history. Individual sections chart their rise, their way of life from farming to feasting, their wars, their gods, and their superb craftsmanship. Also highlighted are the hitherto neglected subject of Celtic life under Roman rule and persistent traditions that led to the Celtic renaissance in Ireland after AD 400. Original features include the latest discoveries; extracts from classical authors; illustrated retellings of the most famous myths and legends; tables of comparative information; diagrams, maps and site plans. The Celts once held sway over much of Europe, from Caledonia to Asia Minor. Here is the whole story of this immensely inventive and influential people.
In 1991, Ireland was in the midst of a devastating recession; thousands of young Irish men & women had emigrated over the previous decade, & divisive social & moral debates on abortion & divorce had rocked Irish society. This text questions the notion of modern Irish identity, & examines the tensions at the heart of the Irish psyche.
Echoes of a Savage Land concerns the rugged life of the ordinary folk of the Irish countryside who carved an existence that has changed utterly in the last half-century. Beginning with rituals observed on the Celtic festival of Samhain Joe McGowan tells with love and humour the story of the customs they practised and the stories they told. Linking the ways of Ireland with ancient Greece and the Aztecs of South America and illustrating his points with quotes from Chaucer and Shakespeare as well as Yeats and Manley Hopkins, Mc Gowan has produced a book that is more than the usual chronicle of country life. Echoes of a Savage Land is a magical doorway into lost worlds, a journey through a way of life unchanged for centuries, but now on the edge of extinction: Witch hares and Rhyming rats - Blood sacrifice and Burnt offerings - Corncrakes and Blackbird pie - Poteen stills and Fear Gortach - Cutting the cailleach and Harvest knots - Mummers and Wrenboys - Quern stones and Stirabout - Haunted houses and Satanic card games.
In In Search of Ancient Ireland, published by Ivan R. Dee in 2002, Carmel McCaffrey traced the history, archaeology, and legends of ancient Ireland from 9000 B.C. to the Norman invasion. Now, in an engaging sequel, Ms. McCaffrey tells the story of the struggle between English and Irish aspirations in the centuries since the first English incursions into Ireland in the twelfth century. This is a narrative history filled with powerful personalities and families who fought in battle and through constitutional means to free Ireland from English control. With an extensive use of original sources-letters, personal accounts, and parliamentary documents-Ms. McCaffrey brings these individuals to life and tells their story. We meet the intrepid O'Neills, the colorful O'Donnells, the wily Fitzgeralds, and many others whose passion for freedom and for Ireland could not be conquered. The Irish, as the book recounts, struggled over many generations to hold on to ancient lands only to lose their fight in the Elizabethan wars. In the early 1600s the ancient Irish Brehon laws were extinguished, and it seemed as if the Gaelic past had been washed from memory. Yet the story of Irish determination did not end there. Other generations took up the effort to establish an Irish parliament free of English control that would answer the needs of all citizens. To this stirring history Ms. McCaffrey brings the same adroitness that prompted Terry Golway of the New York Observer to call her first book "marvelous...fine storytelling and analysis." With 25 black-and-white photographs and a map.