Synopses & Reviews
Few countries have such a compelling and stirring history as Ireland. This sumptuously illustrated volume captures all of the color of the Emerald Isle, from the earliest prehistoric communities and the first Christian settlements, through centuries of turbulent change and creativity, to the present day. Written by an expert team of scholars--all of whom are Native to Ireland--this book offers the most authoritative account of Irish history yet published for the general reader.
Unlike most single-volume histories which tend toward oversimplification, this book emphasizes the paradoxes and ambiguities of Irish history, presenting a more realistic picture. It explores, for example, the reasons behind the intense regional variations in agriculture, prosperity, and political affiliation in so small a land, and show why Victorian norms prevail in certain areas of twentieth-century Irish life. It also examines more familiar themes, such as the shifting patterns of settlement and colonization, the recurrent religious strife, and the establishment of new political entities. And in a special section, it investigates the interaction between Irish history and literature, demonstrating how the importance of language to everyday Irish life has engendered a body of fiction that is virtually a history of Ireland itself.
With over two hundred photographs, a variety of helpful maps, and twenty-four beautiful color plates, The Oxford Illustrated History of Ireland brings to life the conflicts, settlements, and traditions that constitute Irish history. Wide-ranging and highly readable, this vivid view of Ireland will entertain and inform anyone interested in this fascinating and colorful island nation.
About the Author
About the Editor
R. F. Foster Reader in History at Birkbeck College, the University of London. He is the author of a number of books including Lord Randolph Churchill: A Political Life, and the forthcoming authorized biography of W.B. Yeats.
Table of Contents
Prehistoric and Early Christian Ireland, Donnchadh O Corrain
The Norman Invasion and the Gaelic Recovery, Katharine Simms
Early Modern Ireland, Nicholas Canny
Ascendancy and Union, R.F. Foster
Ireland Since 1870, David Fitzpatrick
Irish Literature and Irish History, Declan Kiberd