Synopses & Reviews
Few countries in the world have such a compelling, individual, and stirring history as Ireland. This new volume, the latest in the widely acclaimed Oxford Illustrated Histories series, offers the most authoritative account of Irish history yet published for the general reader. Written by an expert team of scholars--all of whom are native to Ireland--this richly illustrated work takes us from the very earliest prehistoric communities and first Christian settlements, through centuries of turbulent change and creativity, to the present day.
Unlike earlier one-volume histories, which have tended toward oversimplification, this book emphasizes the paradoxes and ambiguities of Irish history, presenting a much more realistic picture. Why, for instance, are there such intense variations in agriculture, prosperity, and political affiliation in an island that compasses such a small area? And why do Victorian norms prevail in certain areas of 20th-century Irish life? In each chapter, the author marks new paths, redefining the preoccupations of the Irish and casting a cold eye on their ruling pieties. Overall unifying themes do, of course, emerge--and provide the familiar ground of Irish historiography: the shifting patterns of settlement and colonization, the recurrent religious strife, the establishment of new political entities.
The predominance of language in Irish life has led to the creation of a literature that is, in a way, a record of Irish history. A special feature of this book is a chapter that explores the interaction of Irish history and literature, what some have called "a bloody crossroads." The conflicts, settlements, discontinuities, and unities of Irish history are illustrated with a broad range of visuals covering the landscape, artefacts, architecture, and an enormous variety of contemporary material. There are over 200 photographs, including 24 full-color plates, and the volume is completed with reference material, maps, a chronology, lists of further reading, and a full index.
Wide-ranging, challenging, and highly readable, this vivid view of Irish history will instruct and entertain students, scholars, and general readers alike.
Written by a team of Irish scholars, this sumptuously illustrate volume captures all the color of the Emerald Isle, from the earliest prehistoric communities through centuries of turbulent change and creativity to the present day. 26 color plates. Halftones.
Few countries have such a compelling and stirring history as Ireland. This sumptuously illustrated volume captures all the color of the Emerald Isle, from the earliest prehistoric communities, 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, this book emphasizes the paradoxes and ambiguities of Irish history, presenting a more realistic picture. 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 many beautiful color plates, this history brings to life the conflicts, settlements, and traditions that constitute Irish history, making it wide-ranging and highly readable for anyone fascinated by this colorful island nation.
About the Author
Roy Foster was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1949 and educated in Ireland and in the United States. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, where he was a Foundation Scholar in History, he subsequently became Professor of Modern British History at Birkbeck College, University of London, as well as holding visiting fellowships at St Anthony's College, Oxford, the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, and Princeton University. In 1991 he became the first Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy since 1989. His previous books include Charles Stewart Parnell: The Man and His Family
(1976), Lord Randolph Churchill: A Political Life
(1981), Modern Ireland 1600-1972
(1988), The Sub-Prefect Should Have Held His Tongue: Selected Essays of Hubert Butler
(1990), Paddy and Mr Punch: Connections in Irish and English History
(1993), and W. B. Yeats: The Apprentice Mage Vol. I
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