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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Read Ireland

Read Ireland Book News - Issue 299 ---------------------------------- A History of Ulster by Jonathan Bardon (Trade Paperback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 16.00 UK; 928 pages) Dynamic and volatile, Ulster is brought to life in this meticulously researched history spanning nine thousand years of the politics, culture and economy of the province – the early settlements; the Viking and Norman invasions; the plantations and the Penal Laws; the rise of the United Irishmen and Orangeism; the Act of Union; emigration and the Great Famine; the linen industry and shipbuilding; the Home Rule crisis and partition; the Second World War and the blitz; civil rights and the turmoil of the Troubles. Through a sensitive use of a wide range of sources – contemporary letters and diaries, journals and newspapers, official documents and maps – Jonathan Bardon, author of the acclaimed Belfast: An Illustrated History, captures the energy and the obstinacy of Ulster. Stunning in its scope and elegant in its presentation, this is an authoritative and consistently readable history of the region and its people. --------------------------------- Heroic Option: The Irish in the British Army by Desmond and Jean Brown (Hardback; 40.00 Euro / 47.00 USD / 25.00 UK; 330 pages, with photo insert) It is a curious paradox that, while for many centuries there has been deep antagonism between the British and the Irish, the latter have fought the former's wars with exemplary courage and tenacity. This has never been better demonstrated than when, as a result of the Irish regiments' superb service in the South African War (Boer War) at the end of the 19th Century, Queen Victoria ordered the formation of the Irish Guards in 1900 as a mark of the Nation's gratitude. Even after the trauma of Partition, Irishmen continued to serve in Irish regiments in large numbers and the tradition continued today. Indeed during the Second World War a very significant number of the most influential generals were of Irish extraction. ------------------------------------- Nationalism and the Irish Party: Provincial Ireland 1910-1916 by Michael Wheatley (Hardback; 70.00 Euro / 85.00 USD / 50.00 UK; 295 pages) In this book, Michael Wheatley examines Irish politics in the last years of the Union, before war and uprising transformed Irish and British politics. Focusing particularly on the Irish Party, he provides a detailed, scholarly analysis and challenges the view that the party was doomed. John Redmond's constitutional, parliamentary, Irish Party went from dominating Irish politics to oblivion in just four years from 1914-1918. The goal of limited Home Rule, peacefully achieved, appeared to die with it. Given the speed of the party's collapse, its death has been seen as inevitable. Though such views have been challenged, there has been no detailed study of the Irish Party in the last years of union with Britain, before the world war and the Easter Rising transformed Irish politics. Through a study of five counties in provincial Ireland - Leitrim, Longford, Roscommon, Sligo, and Westmeath - that history has now been written. Far from being 'rotten', the Irish Party was representative of nationalist opinion and still capable of self-renewal and change. However, the Irish nationalism at this time was also suffused with a fierce anglophobia and sense of grievance, defined by its enemies, which rapidly came to the fore, first in the Home Rule crisis and then in the war. Redmond's project, the peaceful attainment of Home Rule, simply could not be realised. ------------------------------------------ In the Company of William Hazlitt: Thoughts for the 21st Century by Maurice Whelan (Trade Paperback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 17.00 UK; 206 pages) Hazlitt is presented here as a great investigator of the inner world and as a precursor to Freud, but also as going beyond the founder of psychoanalysis and anticipating modern developments in that field. The author argues strongly for Hazlitt to be taken seriously as a thinker and writer of extraordinary relevance to our present world, a true spirit for our age. In his own lifetime and since, he was regarded as one of the greatest writers of prose in the English language, yet he was a thorn in the side of the establishment: opposing slavery, critical of Wordworth's poetry glorifying war, defending civil liberties, arguing against the British dispossession of Ireland and for Catholic Emancipation. ------------------------------------- Conquering England: Ireland in Victorian London by Fintan Cullen and R.F. Foster (Trade Paperback; 20.00 Euro / 25.00 USD / 13.00 UK; 80 pages, with 50 colour and black-and-white images) Under the Union between Britain and Ireland in 1801, the two countries were engaged in a relationship that was quarrelsome, contentious and in many ways interdependent. Yet it also provided a wider arena for certain ambitions in literature, politics and the arts. Irish talent was exported to London in the nineteenth century; by the turn of the twentieth it was being imported back to an Ireland undergoing political radicalisation and a cultural renaissance. This book, which accompanies a National Portrait Gallery exhibition, explores the Irish presence in London during the Victorian period, focusing on prominent individuals including the writers Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and G.B. Shaw; theatrical impresarios such as Bram Stoker; history painters such as Daniel Maclise; charismatic politicians such as Charles Stewart Parnell and colourful journalists such as T.P. O'Connor. Through these influential individuals, the changing perspectives on Ireland that developed during the second half of the nineteenth century are revealed. --------------------------------------- World War I: 1914-1918: Ireland’s Memorial Records (on CD-ROM) compiled by the Committee of the Irish National War Museum (CDROM; 100.00 Euro / 130.00 USD / 70.00 UK) The objective of this volumes is to preserve the names of over 49,000 Irishmen who lost their lives fighting in the Great War, World War I, 1914-1918. The collection was compiled by The Committee of the Irish National War Memorial under the direction of the Earl of Ypres. It is the most complete record known to exist and was published in 1923. This record is unique in many ways. Firstly, not only does it record the names of the dead, it also records their rank, regiment, date of death and regimental number. In most cases the soldier’s county or place of birth and the place and date of death are recorded. All 32 counties in Ireland lost men in the Great War. More than 5,000 from Antrim, 4,800 from Dublin and 3,000 from Cork alone. Indeed it is likely that every village, town and city in Ireland at the time was touched in some way by the loss. Beautiful artwork by the renowned Irish artist Harry Clarke completes this unique production, as users can view high quality scanned images from the original publication. Only one hundred copies of the original publication were ever produced. It is extremely rare. Users can either search or browse the books, names and entries. The CD also reproduces the original introduction from 1923, and a new preface with plenty of statistic gathered while databasing the collection. There is also a biography of Harry Clarke, with information about his artwork over many years. Every effort has been made to produce a high quality facsimile of the original 8 volumes published in 1923, whilst also using the technology available today to ease access to that information and compile valuable statistics that will enrich our understanding of Ireland’s place in the Great War. This CD-ROM contains: · All eight volumes of the original publication, with 3,177 pages · Names of over 49,000 individuals who died, and all details about them recorded in the original books · 16 different page designs by Harry Clarke · High qaulity scanned images of every page of the original publication · A beautifully designed DVD case incorporating the images of Harry Clarke · Help files and detailed introduction System Requirements PC OS: Windows 98, SE, ME, NT4, 2000, XP or higher. Processor: PII or above Mac OS: OSX Power Macintosh 16Mb of available RAM Browser Supported browsers: Internet Explorer version 5.5 or above; Netscape version 7.1 or above; Mozilla 1.7.3 or above; Firefox 1.0 or above; Safari Browser (default browser built into Mac) Image Viewer Alternatiff (available to download for free at Publishing Platform: Lucene, HTML, Flash ----------------------------------------- At Arm’s Length: Aristocrats in the Republic of Ireland by Anne Chambers (Hardback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 210 pages) Living in Ireland today, for the most part unobtrusively and ignored By the greater Irish public, are the descendants of Ireland's former ruling ascendancy. Some are directly descended from Ireland's most ancient kings and chiefs, their ancestry stretching back beyond history, others can claim an Irish pedigree merely five-hundred years old. But By virtue of past historical events and present perceptions they are, despite their ancestry, regarded as being less Irish than the rest of the Irish population. The integration of the aristocratic order into the political and social structures of the Republic of Ireland has taken longer than elsewhere. Since Irish independence from Britain a gulf existed between them and the rest of Irish society that was more pronounced and fundamental than the mere social divide usually found between aristocrat and commoner in other countries. In Ireland the 'Us and Them' mentality that existed between Irish aristocrats and the rest of the population has more to do with history and politics than with social status, privilege or material wealth. At Arm's Length traces the historical and political evolution that lead to this division. In an innovative and unique approach, the author Anne Chambers elicits the views of 14 present-day Irish chiefs and peers who live and work in the Republic of Ireland, on that historical evolution, as well as on a range of social and political issues that shape their sense of place and belonging in the Ireland of the 21st century. She also examines how the rest of the Irish population and the State they created contributed to keeping the most ethnic class amongst them at arm's length. --------------------------- New in Paperback This Week: --------------------------- Anyone But Him by Sheila O’Flanagan (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 600 pages) Andie and her sister Jin have never seen eye to eye. Andie doesn't envy Jin her marriage to a wealthy businessman, while Jin can't believe Andie's happy with her man-free existence (if only she knew!). But when their widowed mother Cora comes back from a Caribbean cruise with more than just a suntan, Andie and Jin are united in horror. Who is this gorgeous young man who's swept their mother off her feet? What the women really need is a friend to set the world to rights with – but can they be friends with each other? ----------------------------------- Highlights from the Previous Issue: ----------------------------------- Read Ireland Book News - Issue 298 The Atlantean Irish: Ireland’s Oriental and Maritime Heritage by Bob Quinn (Trade Paperback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 20.00 UK; 272 pages, with full colour and black-and-white illustrations throughout) Irish identity is best understood from a maritime perspective. For eight millennia the island has been a haven for explorers, settlers, colonists, navigators, pirates and traders, absorbing goods and peoples from all points of the compass. The reduction of the islanders to the exclusive category 'Celtic' has persisted for three hundred years, and is here rejected as impossibly narrow. No classical author ever described Ireland's inhabitants as 'Celts', and neither did the Irish so describe themselves until recent times. The islanders' sea-girt culture has been crucially shaped by Middle Eastern as well as by European civilizations, by an Islamic heritage as well as a Christian one. The Irish language itself has antique roots extended over thousands of years' trading up and down the Atlantic seaways. Over the past twenty years Bob Quinn has traced archaeological, linguistic, religious and economic connections from Egypt to Arann, from Morocco to Newgrange, from Cairo and Compostela to Carraroe. Taking Conamara sean-nos singing and its Arabic equivalents, and a North African linguistic stratum under the Irish tongue, Quinn marshalls evidence from field archaeology, boat-types, manuscript illuminations, weaving patterns, mythology, literature, art and artefacts to support a challenging thesis that cites, among other recent studies of the Irish genome, new mitochondrial DNA analysis in the Atlantic zone from north Iberia to west Scandinavia. The Atlantean Irish is a sumptuously illustrated, exciting, intervention in Irish cultural history. Forcefully debated, and wholly persuasive, it opens up a past beyond Europe, linking Orient to Occident. What began as a personal quest-narrative becomes a category-dissolving intellectual adventure of universal significance. It is a book whose time has arrived. ----------------------------------- The Honan Chapel: A Golden Vision edited by Virginia Teehan and Elizabeth Sincott Heckett (Hardback; 60.00 Euro / 80.00 USD / 40.00 UK; 288 pages, full colour illustrations throughout) The Honan Chapel, at University College Cork, consecrated in 1916 was a unique concept, reflecting in both its architecture and decoration every element of the Irish arts and crafts movement. It was founded in the belief that it is essential for a University College to meet both the spiritual and academic needs of students. Associated with this was the belief that the chapel’s design must be truly Irish in inspiration and representative of early Irish ecclesiastical art. Internally the extraordinary collection of chapel furnishings, textiles, vestments etc. was conceived and executed at the height of the early twentieth century Celtic revival and is a unique expression of that renaissance. It contains items in silver and wood, cloth, paper and stone, providing a valuable and unique record of the best of Irish ecclesiastical art at the time, and is a remarkable expression of the Irish Arts and Crafts movement. ------------------------------------- Dialogues: Women Artists from Ireland by Katy Deepwell (Trade Paperback; 28 Euro / 33.00 USD / 19.00 UK; 194 pages, with illustrations throughout) This illuminating book brings together interviews with contemporary women artists whose work was exhibited in Ireland in the 1990s - a significant decade for art in Ireland, particularly for women artists. While the artists interviewed live and work internationally, each has an individual and complex relationship to Ireland, responding in their work to its landscapes, stories, language and histories and engaging with a wide range of concerns including motherhood and family, sexuality, and dislocation. An equally wide range of media are used, from painting to installation; from performance to public art projects. Artists interviewed: Orla Barry, Maud Cotter, Pauline Cummins, Rita Duffy, Frances Hegarty, Jaki Irvine, Sandra Johnston, Sharon Kelly, Alice Maher, Susan MacWilliam, Mary McIntyre, Alanna O'Kelly, Catherine Owens, Vivienne Roche, Anne Tallentire and Louise Walsh. ----------------------------------- The Vanishing Kingdoms: Irish Chiefs and their Families by Walter J.P. Curley (Trade Paperback; 22.50 Euro / 28.00 USD / 18.00 UK; 190 pages, with and black-and-white illustrations throughout) 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. ------------------------------------- A Companion to the British and Irish Novel 1945-2000 edited by Brian Shaffer (Hardback; 125.00 Euro / 150.00 USD / 80.00 UK; 580 pages) A Companion to the British and Irish Novel 1945-2000 serves as an extended introduction and reference guide to the British and Irish novel between the close of World War II and the turn of the millennium. The Companion embraces the full range of this rich and heterogeneous subject, covering: specific British and Irish novels and novelists ranging from Samuel Beckett to Salman Rushdie: particular subgenres such as the feminist novel and the postcolonial novel: overarching cultural, political and literary trends such as screen adaptations and the literary prize phenomenon. All the essays are informed by current theoretical debates, but are designed to be accessible to non-specialists. The volume as a whole gives readers a sense of the vitality with which the contemporary novel continues to be discussed. ------------------------------------ Reading the Modern British and Irish Novel 1890-1930 by Daniel Schwarz (Paperback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 16.00 UK; 300 pages) Daniel R. Schwarz has studied and taught the modern British novel for decades and now brings his impressive erudition and critical acuity to bear in this insightful study of the major authors and novels of the first half of the twentieth century. After a compelling introduction outlining his method and a substantial first chapter establishing the intellectual, cultural and literary contexts in which the modern British novel was produced, Schwarz turns to close reading of modernist masterworks. He shows how Hardy's Jude the Obscure, Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Lord Jim, Lawrence's Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow, Joyce's Dubliners and Ulysses, Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse and Forster's A Passage to India form essential components in a modernist cultural tradition which includes the visual arts.Without lapsing into jargon, Schwarz's work takes account of recent developments in theory and cultural studies. His persuasive study will not only be invaluable to students and teachers, but will also be of interest to the general reader. (Also available in Hardback at 80 Euro) ------------------------------------------- Thank you for your support! I respectfully reequest that if you are considering ordering any of these books that you do so through Read Ireland in order that the service and the newsletter continues! To order books from the Read Ireland Book Review - simply return the Newsletter by clicking your reply button, deleting the books you do not want and leaving the books you want to order. Alternatively, you can send an email to the order department at: Please be sure to include your mailing address and credit card details. You can of course also post your order to: Read Ireland, 392 Clontarf Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3,Ireland. Telephone and Facsimile number is: +353-1-853-2063. Read Ireland Web Site Home Page: All Prices and Rates are in Euro (US Dollar and UK Sterling prices are guidelines based on current exchange rates.) Euro prices on books reviewed above are firm. Post + package is charged at cost. ---- Back to Irish Aires Table of Contents To receive these postings via email, click HERE No Message is necessary.
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