Here is Ireland's past distilled - poignant personal narratives and privileged moments, human behaviour recorded in its infinite variety, voices overheard: chamber music. In these pages Elizabethan adventurers, fops, soldiers, widows, landlords, republicans, poets, hedge-school masters and literary lesbians seem to dance through 400 years of Irish history. National events - the siege of Limerick, the battle of the Boyne, Wexford in 1798, the Famine, literary revival, 1916 Rising and Civil War - commingle with details of individual lives - procreation and recreation, courtship, food, clothing, religion, privation, death. Diaries of Ireland is an intimate history of everyday life on this island, a feast for mind and imagination. 'It is altogether an enterprise truly unique; we have not one guinea, we have not a tent; we have not a horse to draw our four pieces of artillery; the General-in-Chief marches on foot, we leave all our baggage behind us; we have nothing but the arms in our hands, the clothes on our backs, and a good courage, but that is sufficient - we are all gay as larks.' - Theobald Wolfe Tone, 24 December 1796 'A Levée at the Castle, attended as usual by pimps, parasites, hangers-on, aidecamps, state officers, expectant clergymen, hungry lawyers, spies, informers, and the various descriptions of characters that constitute the herd of which the motley petty degraded and pretended Court of this poor fallen country is made up. Alas, poor Ireland.' - Sir Vere Hunt, 4 June 1813 'Well, [Patrick] Kavanagh has come and gone: like the monsoon, the mistral, Hurricane Annie: things will never be quite the same again, even if it only meant that somebody told Lady Bellew to shut up, and went on to declare later that he hates Prods.' - Frank McEvoy, 4 March 1958 'This is the stuff of history, direct, real, stimulating and amusing S an excellent anthology.' - Bruce Arnold, Irish Independent 'There is a great deal to interest in this well-produced volume, it whets the appetite for more.' - Catriona Crowe, Sunday Tribune
Ernie O'Malley was a revolutionary republican and writer. One of the leading figures in the Irish independence and civil wars, he survived wounds, imprisonment and hunger stirke, before going to the USA in 1928 to fundraise on de Valera's behalf. Broken Landscapes tells of his subsequent journeys, through Europe and the Americas, where O'Malley moved in wide social circles that included Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Hart Crane and Jack B. Yeats. Back in Mayo he took up farming. In 1935 he married Helen Hooker, an American heiress, with whom he had three children, Cathal, Etain and Cormac, before a bitter separation. His literary reputation was established with a magnificent memoir, On Another Man's Wound (1936). In later years he was close to John Ford, and worked on The Quiet Man (1952). This vibrant new collection of letters, diaries and fragments opens up the broad panorama of his life to readers. It enriches the history of Ireland's troubled independence wiht reflections on loss and reconciliation. It links the old world to the new - O'Malley perched on the edge of the Atlantic, a folklore collector, art critic and radio broadcaster; autodidact, modernist and intellectual. It conducts a unique conversation with the past. In Broken Landscapes, we travel with O'Malley through Italy, the American Southwest, Mexico and points inbetween. In Taos, he mingled wiht the artistic set around D. H. Lawrence. In Ireland, he drank with Patrick Kavanagh, Liam O'Flaherty and Louis MacNiece. The young painter Louis le Brocquy was his guest on his farm in Burrishoole, Co. Mayo. These places and people remained with O'Malley in his private writing, assembled for the first time from family and institutional archives. Reading these letters, dairies and fragments is to see Ireland in the tumultuous world of the twentieth cetnury, as if for the first time, allowing us to view the intellectual foundations of the State through the eyes of its leading chronicler. CORMAC K.H. O'MALLEY co-edited with Richard English Prisoners: The Civil War Letters of Ernie O'Malley (Dublin 1991), co-edited with Anne Dolan 'No Surrender Here!' The Civil War Papers of Ernie O'Malley, 1922-1924 (Dublin 2007) and edited Rising-Out: Sean Connolly of Longford (1890-1921) by Ernie O'Malley (Dublin 2007). He is an international legal consultant based in New York City, and is the son of Ernie O'Malley. NICHOLAS ALLEN is Moore Institute Professor at the National University of Ireland, and has been Burns Scholar at Boston College. He has published widely on Irish literature and cultural hisotry, including Moderism, Ireland and Civil War (Cambridge 2009) and George Russell and the New Ireland (Dublin 2003). He is currently writing a book about 1916.
"During the twenty years from the early 1950s to the  publication of Ten Thousand Saints Hubert Butler amassed, by hand, every possible reference to every possible saint in the Irish corpus in Irish and Latin ... His understanding of Ireland as part of the bigger picture of prehistoric Europe is refreshing and his ability to trace the traditions of the historical Irish back to that picture is exciting." - Introduction by Alan Harrison. When it was first published in 1972, Hubert Butler's pioneering masterwork was received with scepticism by his contemporaries. He used linguistics to trace the origins of myths and saints back to pre-Celtic Ireland and Europe, and showed how these stories and names - ancestors of half-forgotten tribes - became absorbed by Christian mythology. The early Irish wove their stories, as did the Greeks, the Hebrews and all early peoples, from the migration of tribes and by wordplay with their time-battered, unstable names. Ten Thousand Saints raises fascinating problems that take us beyond the frontiers of recorded history to the remote movements of European peoples, to the clash of tribes and tongues. As modern DNA sampling and genome-mapping, seen in the regional patterning of today's Irish surnames, reinforce Butler's findings, his methods and thesis are now gaining scholarly recognition. This new edition, amplified and updated, demonstrates ingeniously coded histories - via place names, legends, hero-figures, saints and ancestors - hat relate to the wanderings and minglings of all the great tribes of Europe, extending back to Neolithic times.
Ben Contini, a disenchanted painter of considerable talent, has just buried his mother. Rifling through the attic of her Kilkenny house he stumbles across a Modigliani nude, worth millions. Determined to learn the provenance of the painting, he and Elsa, a disturbed and secretive woman who accosts him at the funeral, become embroiled in the sinister world of Nazi art theft. But they are not the only one with an interest in the painting... Together they set off on a frantic journey that leads them from Dublin to France via the Cotswolds, down the Canal du Midi into Italy. The intrigue surrounding the shadowy half-truths about their exotic families becomes increasingly sinister as Ben and Elsa are forced to confront their pasts and their buried demons. Set in the 1980s, this is a fantastic new book from established thriller writer Joseph Hone, who weaves a breathless, galloping intrigue packed with narrative twists and sumptuous evocations of Europe's forgotten past.
From 1901 to 1967 this Dublin restaurant so famous in its day that letters simply addressed Jammet's, Europe' reached their destination within a week was the resort of actors, politicians, artists and literati, film stars, judges, journalists, doctors, chancers and characters, gourmets and oenophiles, who passed through its doors in search of superb food and wine, or banter in the bars. Praised by Egon Ronay for its space, grace and charm', the formidable list of culinary delicacies' and the numerous, very great clarets', this legendary French dining establishment had no peer in Ireland, and gave occasion to many a tale: Jack B. Yeats, sketching a bucking horse on a birthday menu; Liam O'Flaherty, giving rein to his; Patrick Kavanagh, in search of a mistress; Maeve Binchy, celebrating her Leaving Cert.; Garech Browne, watching Nicholas Gormanston rescue Seán O'Sullivan from immersion in a bowl of pea-green soup; Micheál MacLiammóir, being upstaged by one of the staff. Pages from the Visitors' Book with its autographs are redolent of a golden age: Maureen O'Hara, Bertie Smyllie, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Maurice Jarre, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, the Beverley Sisters. John Lennon drew a self- portrait and commented, The other three are saving up to come here!' Added to the visual mix are original menu cards and recipes, a 200-strong wine list with suppliers and prices, and fabulous foods: a rich iconography affording rare insights into the social and cultural life of Dublin during the sixty-six years of Jammet's treasured existence. At the heart of this lively narrative is a truffle of memoir by Shay Harpur, who rose from cloakroom attendant to sommelier in five short years, and recounts a day-in-the-life of Jammet's with vivid particularity. A closing essay by the late Patrick Campbell celebrates the warmth and idiosyncracy of its famed back bar.
These time-capsule recollections of Trinity College students in the seventies include those of U2 manager Paul McGuinness, director of the Gate Theatre Michael Colgan, novelist James Ryan, writer Robert O'Byrne, judge Fidelma Macken, publisher Antony Farrell, Dillie Keane of Fascinating Aida, Mary Harney, Liz O'Donnell and others, who have in different ways shaped the Ireland of today. The seventies were significant, with Catholic students allowed into the College as British grants enabled a welcome invasion by the Northern Irish; post-Woodstock, a global counterculture was at work. Together, Irish nationals and expats created an interesting fusion of sensibilities, styles and philosophies. As the decade of political and social upheaval unfolded - from the availability of the Pill to the horrors of Bloody Sunday and the Dublin bombings - Irish youth came to embrace a changed Ireland. Buoyed by idealism and other substances but tethered by pragmatism, contributors to Trinity Tales mirror a time when everything felt possible. Kathy Gilfillan (TCD 1968-72) has gathered in an extraodinary mix of evocative personal narratives, which will resonate whether you went to Trinity or not.
While Patrick Kavanagh (1904-67) was above all a poet, for most of his writing life he was a prolific producer of critical and autobiographical prose. Work for newspapers and magazines was often his main source of income, and provided him with a necessary outlet for his views on the writers of his time, and past times; on the spiritual function of poetry; and on his own background and experiences as an isolated genius, impoverished, sometimes ostracized, and surrounded, as he saw it, by mediocrity. The prose complements the poetry telling us things about Kavanagh that the poems do not tell. This is the first authoritative gathering of the shorter prose writings. Edited and introduced by Antoinette Quinn, Kavanagh's leading interpreter and biographer, A Poet's Country: Selected Prose supplants the earlier, inadequate 1967, Collected Pruse, which contained material already available elsewhere and focused on later writings at the expense of work from the vital decades of the thirties and forties. A Poet's Country is both a reliable scholarly edition and an immensely readable, entertaining collection. It contains the essential shorter prose works from throughout Kavanagh's career: the legendary autobiographical pieces and rural reminiscences and a thorough selection of Kavanagh's penetrating, sometimes scabrous, literary and cultural criticism. Its verve and musicality, poignancy and pitch, rage and glory, expresses as no other the voice of rural Ireland.
In charge of the Zurich James Joyce Foundation since its inception in 1985, Fritz Senn has studied the life and works of James Joyce for five decades, published widely and taught across Europe and the United States. He has been on the editorial board of all major Joyce journals, co-founded A Wake Newsletter with Clive Hart in the 1980s and supervised and co-ordinated the Frankfurt Joyce Edition with Klaus Reichert from 1969 to 1971. He has also instigated and co-organized several international Joyce Symposia. In Joycean Murmoirs, Christine O'Neill, a Zurich Joyce scholar based in Dublin, has drawn Senn out in numerous, wide-ranging interviews about Joyce and his works, the global Joyce community and friends, problems of translation, Joyce and Homer, the Zurich James Joyce Foundation, the intricacies of language and, not least, his own life and personality. These thought-provoking exchanges lend a privileged view of a richly eclectic literary and cultural milieu, giving glimpses of leading scholars and commentators from Richard Ellmann to Niall Montgomery and Anthony Burgess. They form a fascinating composite portrait of one of Europe's foremost international Joyceans
REVISED AND EXTENDED SECOND EDITION Rebellions is an autobiography, an astonishingly clear-sighted and lucid account of a tragic and disputed episode in Irish history and a polemic. The book's importance, originality and real value arise from the way the personal, the political and the scholarly are each offered as passionate witness and not separated. The rebellion of 1798 in Wexford and its two hundredth anniversary have found a brilliant and fearless chronicler. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the arguments about how the past cut deeply into the way we live in Ireland now.'- Colm Tóibín. This is a new, extended edition of an unusual book, which generated considerable interest and controversy when it was first published in 2004, and won the Ewart Biggs Memorial Prize the following year. In its original form it had three elements, a memoir giving the author's intellectual and political formation and his family connection to 1798 in Wexford, a critique of the bicentenary of the rebellion and of writing about it, and a detailed account of the pivotal battle of New Ross and the massacre nearby at Scullabogue. The new edition adds a fourth layer of exploration, analysing the reception of the book, by historians, by those involved in the bicentenary, and by the many individuals who wrote to the author. The most unusual response came from the Ryan Commission on child abuse, which explored with the author his experiences as a junior member of the Irish Christian Brothers, and quoted him extensively in its report. The new chapter focuses on the theme common to all of these responses, the conflict between emotional identification with a community's history and the evidence for contrary realities.
With a foreword by J.P. Donleavy. The best book about literary Dublin ever written' - FRANK DELANEY. Edna O'Brien chose John Ryan's memoirs as her Observer Book of the Year in 1975, describing it as a fine and loving account of literary Dublin in the golden fifties', which purrs with life and anecdote'. This classic evocation of the period 1945-55 celebrates a city and its personalities - Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh, Myles na gCopaleen (Flann O'Brien), as well as Pope' O'Mahony, Gainor Crist the original Ginger Man, and others - a remarkable group who were to revitalize post-war literature in Ireland. As friend, publisher and fellow artist, Ryan paints a vivid picture of this ebullient, fertile milieu: No more singular body of characters will ever rub shoulders again at any given time, or a city more uniquely bizarre than literary Dublin will ever be seen.' As one reads his words, dressed in their wonderful finery of irony, the world he speaks of reblossoms to be back again awhile. To see, feel and smell the Dublin of that day; a masterpiece of reminiscence' - from the foreword by J.P. Donleavy
I found it compelling - mystique and mystery are interwoven with great cunning and guile.' - John Boorman. Mushroom.man is the tale of a loner whose move to the mountains takes him on a self-styled odyssey mapped by hallucinogenic experiences. Sixties man, primal man, shaman, nowhereman, everyman: mushroom.man enters the world of the forests, fungi and spiritual discovery on the trail of an ancient and holy mystery. As an unlikely communication opens up between mushroom.man and a curious psychologist, a strange life unfolds. 'Very entertaining - written with economy and imagination drawing the reader in.' - Tom Moriarty, The Irish Times 'Brilliant - a strange life story unfolds in lyrical prose.' - Matthew Seton Sell, Magill
Séamas Ó Sìocháin has written what is the most voluminous biography of Casement and a significant contribution to an understanding of his life.' Frank Callinan, The Irish Times Roger Casement is among the most written about and mythologized figures in Irish history, yet has never, until now, been accorded such an impartial, full-scale documentary biography. Séamas Ó Sìocháin gives us an enthralling book equal to the expansive life of its subject. In its meticulous scholarship it supersedes all previous work in the field. Drawing upon an astonishing trove of official and personal sources, Ó Sìocháin shows how what began as an ordinary career in the British consular service became a singular crusade across three continents, against exploitation, cruelty and injustice. Casement served in the Niger, Mozambique, Angola and most momentously in the Congo, where he witnessed the appalling crimes of the Belgian colonial system and became a leading figure in the humanitarian campaign, eventually successful, to force King Leopold II to surrender his personal control of the colony. Casement later applied the same eye for injustice to the depressingly similar exploitation of natives of the Putumayo, in the upper reaches of the Amazon, where, as in the Congo, outsiders' hunger for rubber created misery for native peoples. His growing interest and involvement in Irish nationalism, culminating in his attempts to aid the 1916 Rising and execution for treason, is compellingly narrated. Ó Sìocháin analysis, which closely examines the debate around Casement's controversial diaries, is also a model of clarity and attention to detail. This definitive biography, accompanied by additional maps and numerous photographs, many of them rare and unseen, is an enduring monument to one of Ireland's most enigmatic patriots of the past century.
Ireland's history has long been illuminated, and enlivened, by bizarre, colourful, extravagant, unfettered individuals: ripe country-house eccentrics, saints, scholars, bucks and hell-rakes, duellists, abductors, rhymers and miracle-makers. These factual and fascinating biographical sketches make for 'delightful reading' (Frank Muir). First published in 1975 this new edition includes fresh material and is now in its second printing. Reviews of the 1975 edition: 'Mr Somerville-Large writes with élan and erudition' - Tim Heald, The Times. 'A delightful compendium of sheer nuttiness. If, as sociologists suggest, eccentricity is a luxury, Ireland is portrayed in this book as one of the most luxurious countries anywhere.' - Malcolm MacPherson, Newsweek. 'Mr Somerville-Large has probed the annals of dim Anglo-Irish families to produce a rare gallery of human curiosities. All human life is here with a vengeance, and in these affectionately presented pages its vagaries know no bounds. ' - William Trevor, The Guardian. 'Peter Somerville-Large has parcelled up as colourful a batch of nature's sports as could be found a whisker this side of lunacy, and has written about them in a witty detached prose style which admirably sets off their extraordinary behaviour S delightful reading.' - Frank Muir, The Spectator
'People from all over Italy lay claim to living in the real Italy, but they are wrong. The real Italy lies here, in the Comino Valley, north of Naples, south of Rome, high in the mountains, surrounded by the Apennine peaks.' Since childhood, Paolo Tullio has returned each year to his hometown of Gallinaro and the immoderate, warmhearted people of his valley, delightfully evoked here. North of Naples, South of Rome encompasses a chaotic wine competition, the Italian cantina, market-day haggling and truffle-hunting, winning a local election, roasting a pig whole, and the scams and the charms of Naples. It looks in disbelief at local bureaucracy, and observes the Catholic Church's relationship to daily life. With fascinating detours on local buildings, history, folklore and fashion, the reader is taken aboard a carousel of picnics, feasts and fireworks, illuminating an unknown and irresistible corner of Italy. 'Less manipulative than Peter Mayle ... a wonderful initiation to the piquant joys of Italian country living ... As reviving as a hot espresso.' - The Sunday Times. 'A genuine warm breeze of Italy blows from these pages.' - Brian Fallon, The Irish Times. ' ...this book will warm the heart, expand the soul, and can even be used to nourish the body.' - Image. 'A delightful, often hilarious insight to the Italy of today. If you want to know what makes the real Italy and real Italians tick, do not on any account neglect to read this. You will be intrigued and delighted.' - Tim Cranmer, Cork Examiner. Tullio brings his home town and the valley stretching beneath alive to us with all their faults, beauty and charm. It deserves to be more widely read than the book the fellow wrote about Provence.' - Gillian Somerville Large, Irish Independent. 'Colourful, sometimes hilarious, sometimes frustration and pathos filled, this is a fascinating portrayal of family life in and around the little Italian town that has been home to the author and his many relatives for 600 years.' - Marian Curd, The Universe
Desmond Hogan is one of Ireland's leading writers. In addition to his novels and stories, he has travelled widely (for various newspapers) to some of the strangest and most fascinating parts of the world. In the past fifteen years, he has visited Soviet Russia, Central America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Each of the pieces in this volume is both a personal and a geographical journey, and taken together they amount to a vivid picture of a changing world. 'Hogan is a portraitist of place, sometimes a minaturist, but the detail is exquisite... he writes superbly. This 'scrapbook' has a coherence, an identity, that comes only from a refusal to take things lightly while permitting lightness to the imagination.' - Ian Bell, The Herald. 'Hogan has a perfect eye for happenings at the edge and for the details that others ignore. He writes in the lyrical prose of a wandering, restless storyteller... his haunted, mesmeric style is laden with echoes and an elegaic richness.' - Sean Dunne, Cork Examiner. 'Hogan is not just a travelling fellow, but a sensitive and hyperliterate fellow traveller.' - Martin Cropper, Sunday Times. 'Hogan is an Irish writer of exceptional talent and sensitivity - a true original. A beautiful book.' - Midweek
Short-listed for 1992 GPA Award. Is economic growth improving our lives? In 1992, when the first edition of The Growth Illusion appeared, most people had little doubt that the answer was 'Yes'. Today, however, the climate of opinion has changed and there is widespread acceptance that, while growth might be necessary to generate jobs, the development path we are following isn't making life better for ourselves or our children.This new, revised edition of The Growth Illusion explains what has gone wrong. Douthwaite argues that since the 1950s, governments around the world have made economic growth their primary focus in the belief that by baking the biggest national cake, they are creating the resources needed to fulfill their political goals. Recent research in the USA, Britain, Germany and Australia shows that this 'growth first, goals later' strategy isn't working and that in the past fifteen years the growth process has actually destroyed more resources than it has created on a sustainable basis. As these economies run backwards, their citizens become worse off. So why is growth still paramount? Like an aircraft maintaining a minimum airspeed to stay aloft, so an economy must maintain a minimum growth rate if it is not to plunge into a deep depression. If demand fails to increase in any year, less investment will be made the following year, people will be thrown out of work and the economy will begin to unwind. The Growth Illusion explores this trap and many other topics along the way, asking fundamental questions about economics and the society in which we live. In this revised and reworked edition, case studies and statistics have been brought up to date and amplified by new research. Douthwaite identifies recent changes in public attitudes to growth as the beginnings of an intellectual revolution as far-reaching in its consequences for human survival as those initiated by Copernicus or Darwin in their re-assessment of man's place in creation. 'Growth has pushed the economic system beyond safe environmental limits,' he writes. 'The present revolution involves our acceptance that Earth is finite and the laws of nature apply to us.' Press comments about The Growth Illusion: 'Truly a book for our times: a fierce and unrelenting critique of the failures of laissez-faire capitalism ... I commend The Growth Illusion to all.'- The Sunday Tribune 'Here's an economist who can entertain, blowing the whistle on consumer idiocies ... After reading Douthwaite's vivid and convincing case studies it becomes impossible to hear a politician promising 'recovery' ... without feeling mingled pity and contempt' - The Independent on Sunday "The Growth Illusion is simply indispensable for those who wish to empower themselves by getting a grip on an alternative model to the prevailing economics of misery. What is particularly impressive is the quality of the scholarship... The publication of this book is a very significant act in democratizing economics.' - Michael D. Higgins, Hot Press 'Douthwaite is no head-banger...The Growth Illusion is a big rich book with an old-fashioned resonance: economics as morality - it does something to hasten the day when capitalism is no longer left as the only game in town.' -The Irish Times 'A terrific book, splendidly written and meticulously researched. I have no hesitation in calling Richard Douthwaite one of the best environmental journalists in the world.' - James Downey, The Universe
Who was Jonathan Swift? Bruce Arnold's provocative book examines this enigmatic figure in the light of his relationships - with his lover Esther Vanhomrigh ('Vanessa'), his ward Esther Johnston ('Stella'), and his many great male friends: Congreve, Temple, Bolingbroke, Harley, Pope, Addison, Thomas Sheridan, and others. Though often caricatured as a bitter misanthrope, Swift can only be properly understood if we recognize his love of humanity and his capacity for friendship. Arnold traces this theme from Swift's youth in Ireland and his literary and political apprenticeship at Moor Park in Surrey, and on through the years of greatness - the brilliant satires and pamphlets, the Church diplomacy at the Court of Queen Anne, and the great writings of his maturity: the Drapier's Letters, A Modest Proposal, and Gulliver's Travels. Here, for the first time, Swift's long and varied life is illustrated through contemporary engravings of the places he lived in, the people he knew, and the leading figures who defined his age.
With a Fenian fiddle in one ear and an Orange drum in the other', singer Tommy Sands was reared in the foothills of the Mourne mountains, where he still lives. As a child, he was immersed in folk music - his father played the fiddle, his mother the accordion. The kitchen was where Protestant and Catholic farmers alike would gather for songs and storytelling at the end of a day's harvesting. During the sixties and seventies Tommy was chief songwriter for The Sands Family, who played wherever they were welcome, from local wakes and weddings to New York's Carnegie Hall; his songs have been recorded by Joan Baez, Dolores Keane, Dick Gaughan and The Dubliners. He tells of his family's traditional way of life; of the turbulent days of the civil rights movement; The Bothy Band brawling in Brittany; encounters with Alan Stivell, Mary O'Hara and Pete Seeger; Ian Paisley on his radio show Country Céilí and a 'defining moment' during the Good Friday Agreement talks, when he organized an impromptu performance with children and Lambeg drummers. The Songman is a memoir replete with warmth and wit. 'Tommy Sands' words fairly 'freewheel down the hill' but they also have a great zest to 'sow the seeds of justice'. You feel you can trust the singer as well as the song.' - Seamus Heaney 'Tommy Sands has achieved that difficult but wonderful balance between knowing and loving the traditions of his home as well as being concerned with the future of the whole world.' - Pete Seeger
Vanishing Kingdoms combines an account of aristocracy and its history in Ireland with an interview-based description of twenty recognized Irish chiefs of the name and their family backgrounds. Three of them, The O'Brien, O'Conor Don and The O'Neill, have legitimate claims to high kingship; all are descendants of territorial kings and sub-kings. For the most part shorn of their privileges and territories in a democratized, socially fluid Ireland of the twenty-first century, as a group the chiefs exercise a continuing fascination and a living link to the past, leaving an imaginative yet tangible mark on the Irish landscape. The families are grouped by province ULSTER: The O'Neill; The O'Dogherty; The O'Donnell; MacDonnell; The Maguire MUNSTER: The O'Brien; The O'Callaghan; The O'Carroll; The O'Donovan; The O'Donoghue; The McGillycuddy; The O'Grady; The O'Long LEINSTER: The Fox; The O'Morchoe; The MacMorrough Kavanagh CONNACHT: O'Conor Don; The MacDermot; The O'Kelly; The O'Rorke Through the unfolding diorama of these individual family stories, Vanishing Kingdoms gives an enriching view of Irish history and society. Contemporary portraits of the current chiefs, photographs and engravings of their dwellings, past and present, complement a vivid narrative. Walter J.P. Curley is a graduate of Yale and Harvard universities, and the former US Ambassador to Ireland and France. He is the author of Letters from the Pacific and Monarchs in Waiting: The Descendants of Europe's Royal Families. He divides his time between Manhattan and Newport, County Mayo. The artist Gordon Wetmore is chairman of the Portrait Society of America, and lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Islands and Images' describes the Aran Islands themselves; 'Setting Foot on the Shores of Connemara', the title-essay, elevates the map-maker's craft into art; 'The View from Errisbeg' integrates the landscapes of Galway Bay, the Burren and Connemara by way of topography, botany and geology; 'Space, Time and Connemara', centrepiece to the collection, surveys the archaeology and human geography of the West, its settlement patterns, families, dispersals and privations, its missioners and the modern tide of tourism and mariculture; 'A Connemara Fractal' is a fascinating autobiographical digression through Cambridge and the convergences of mathematics, geometry and geology, towards landscape-theory and the Book of Connemara as yet unwritten; 'Place/Person/Book' introduces Synge's masterwork, The Aran Islands; 'Listening to the Landscape' takes for its theme the Irish language and placenames as an emanation of the land; 'Four Threads' connects four archetypal figures - smuggler, rebel priest, land-agent and wandering rhymer - to their histories in nineteenth century Connemara. Other texts rehearse the potencies of discovery, botanical (Erica mackaiana in Roundstone), archaeological (a Bronze Age quartz alignment in Gleninagh) and personal. Some are anecdotal, some meditative; each is individually conceived as a work of literature. Tim Robinson has been stepping into spacetime since 1972, mapping the unknown by way of the known. With Setting Foot on the Shore of Connemara he captures the numinous in a net of words and images, and creates his own illuminated manual of memory.In these fourteen related works we witness a great writer, artist and cartographer united with his subject, conveying the vivid experiences of a quarter-century of exploring and mapping the Aran Islands, the Burren and Connemara. Tim Robinson, map-maker and writer, was born in England in 1935. He studied mathematics at Cambridge and worked as a teacher and artist in Istanbul, Vienna and London. In 1972 he moved to the West of Ireland and began writing and making maps. He now lives in Roundstone, Connemara. 'Potent and original.' The Irish Times 'Robinson's prose speaks more powerfully than a camera ... captivating and totally rewarding.' SUC Bulletin 'Belongs in every cultivated Irish home.' Michael Viney, The Irish Times 'In these glittering essays he is by turn historian, archaeologist, geographer, cartographer, botanist and, above all, a ravishing storyteller.' Penny Perrick, The Times
In the aftermath of the Great Famine of 1845-52, the Martin Estate in the West of Ireland, 200,000-acres of bog and mountain, was put up for sale. Its mortgagees, the London Law Life Insurance Society, evicted many of the tenants, and in February 1853 sent Thomas Colville Scott to conduct a survey of their property. This is his journal, recently discovered at an auction-house in England. Colville Scott records many an extraordinary encounter with individual survivors of the famine, some traumatized into idiocy, others mysteriously bettering themselves on well-nigh invisible means. The descriptions of squalid hostelries, rent-evading tenants, thieving beggars and the works of 'Papistry' are those of a cocksure Scots metropolitan - and his account of a meeting of the Clifden Workhouse Guardians is as brutally comic as Thackeray - but his dealings with human flotsam such as the tiny chimneysweep running naked through the snow shows a warm-heartedness that makes this journal as moving as it is richly informative. Drawings by the author and sketches from contemporary guidebooks illustrate the text. Tim Robinson's introductory essay locates Colville Scott's responses within the frame of Connemara history and the nineteenth century. His annotations and map detailing the Martin Estate enable the reader to follow, day by day, the young surveyor on his exploration of 'this inhabited desolation, Connemara after the Famine'.
This is a stimulating book of exploration, experience and philosophical meditation. As always with Robinson, the writing is exact and eloquent, the terrritory exciting. This is a book to cherish and re-read, challenging, infuriating and satisfying in turn, with nuggets of poetry glinting between the curves and planes of its ideas - and passages of pure gold.' - Mary O'Malley , Irish Times 'A marvellous writer - there are multifarious pleasures contained in the 11 essays.' - Eamon Sweeney, Sunday Tribune In an essay from 1996 collecton Setting Foot on the Shores of Connemara and Other Essays, Tim Robinson noted that 'we are spatial entities Â- which is even more basic than being physical entities, subject to the law of gravity'. In this dazzling new series of essays Robinson examines aspects of his own 'time in space', moving from his childhood in Yorkshire, to a deadly moment on a Malayan airstrip, a pilgrimage to the midnight sun, adventures in the art-worlds of Istanbul, Vienna and London, and finally to the spaces of the West of Ireland which he has interpreted with incomparable attention and fidelity over the past three decades. The essays explore problems in mathematics and mapping, the human implications of the arc of a missile the feelings of a sceptic upon approaching divine ground in the company of a mystic, and other encounters of the empirical with the numinous: Robinson has an uncanny capacity to write convincingly about both. The sequence ends with an angry outburst against the continuing destruction of the Irish countryside and a moving hymn to the delights of his own house and garden at the edge of the sea in Connemara. My Time in Space is the latest instalment in a literary corpus of singular integrity and endless fascination. Tim Robinson was born in England in 1935. Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage, published in 1985, won the Irish Book Award Literature Medal and a Rooney Prize Special Award for Literature in 1987.
I have felt the need for a change of scene and interest lately.' -Lady Bailey on the eve of her London-Cape Town flight, March 1928. Mary Westenra, born in 1890, was the daughter of Derry Westenra, the fifth Baron Rossmore of Rossmore Castle, Co. Monaghan, a famous sportsman and rake. After a youth of much hunting, shooting and fishing, and little formal education, at the age of twenty she married Sir Abe Bailey, a South African tycoon of British extraction. Shuttling between England and South Africa with a much older man whose interests were very different from hers, and cut off from her beloved life of horses and hounds, Lady Bailey began to take flying lessons in secret. With astonishing rapidity, she became one of the world's most celebrated aviators, before setting out on the journey that would make her name: London to Cape Town and back. Flying in her De Havilland Moth, she was detained for several days in Cairo, where the authorities didn't want to let her continue without a man in the plane. Eventually she prevailed, and flew down the eastern flank of the African continent to Cape Town - and then turned back, en route for London up the western flank of the continent. Lady Bailey's riveting journal of this return flight has survived and is reproduced in its entirety here. Lacking a radio, she often lands in unknown places to ask directions, and recounts in unruffled prose her encounters with friendly Africans and unhelpful French colonials. Jane Falloon paints a rich picture of Lady Bailey's life, establishing her sporting pedigree and detailing the still-feudal environment of Monaghan in which the Lord's daughter grew up. The remarkable life of the businessman-imperialist Abe Bailey, who bankrolled his wife's adventures and always supported her despite a lack of warmth in the marriage, is also recounted. Lady Bailey herself emerges from this biography as one of the most remarkable Irishwomen of the century.
Between clubs, dining halls, libraries, institutions and good addresses in the country, R.B. McDowell, born in September 1913, had led the charmed and energized existence of a distinguished bachelor don, embellishing the lives of generations of students - chiefly Trinity College undergraduates - fellow historians, academic colleagues and friends. In McDowell on McDowell, A Memoir, he describes this life, almost entirely shaped by a seventy-five year association with Trinity College, Dublin, with interludes at Radley, Oxfordshire during the second world war, in London after official retirement in 1981 and on the Continent for vacations. With spare, poised prose, which reveals as it conceals, he tells of origins in Edwardian Belfast and evokes memories of secondary education at ‘Inst' and Elmwood Sunday School, annual visits to London, and summers at Fahan and Portadown. He survives the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, and experiences widening social and intellectual contours informed by avid reading in military history, eighteenth-century British politics, nineteenth-century fiction, Adam Smith, Marx and Spengler. In 1932 he progresses to TCD as lecturer, historian and writer, coming to identify with eighteenth-century Ireland - its buildings, politics and people - as the primary focus of his interest and work in a moving expression of its ethos and his own. He also provides fascinating, vivid cameos of Europe in crisis: visiting Cologne in January 1939, and in May 1968 joining student radicals on the Boulevard St Germain in Paris, an experience turned to account as he dealt with home-grown Internationalists in his capacity as Junior Dean (1956-69). This entertaining essay is self-portraiture, conveyed with the perception and ease of an after-dinner speaker and raconteur, alive to the idiosyncrasies and vagaries of his profession, is a valuable record of a unique Irishman and citizen of the world at the close of his days. The Lilliput Press has published four of R.B. McDowell's previous works: Land and Learning: Two Irish Clubs (1993), Crisis and Decline: The Fate of Southern Unionists (1997), Grattan: A Life (2001) and Historical Essays, 1838-2001 (2003).