This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Read Ireland

Read Ireland Book News - Issue 312 ---------------------------------- Throw in the Vowels: New and Selected Poems by Rita Ann Higgins (Trade Paperback; 16.00 Euro / 18.50 USD / 10.00 UK; 224 pages) Throw in the Vowels is a new retrospective from Rita Ann Higgins: provocative and heart-warming poems of high jinx, jittery grief and telling social comment by a gutsy, anarchic chronicler of the Irish dispossessed. ‘A brilliantly spiky, surreal blend of humour and social issues. Her poems are a witty mix of the erotic and the upfront political from a female perspective, with wonderful rhythms that effortlessly incorporate direct speech’ – Ruth Padel, Independent on Sunday ‘A quite untameable poet. Higgins roams the provincial towns and countryside of Ireland fomenting rebellion and writing with unstaunchable energy of everything warm and unrespectable in Irish life. Her voice is like nobody else’s, simple but not naive, raucous but sympathetic’ – Peter Porter, PBS Bulletin ‘Higgins’s voices are so distinctive and real that a whole world of semi-rural Irish poverty rises around the reader with the jolting acuity of an excellent documentary…an hilarious, absorbing and thoroughly disturbing experience’ – Kate Clanchy, Independent ‘Rita Ann Higgins means a unique line in human warmth; and a unique colour of humour and a unique clarity’ – Paul Durcan ----------------------------------- The Eternal Paddy: Irish Identity and the British Press, 1798-1882 by Michael de Nie (Trade Paperback; 20.00 Euro / 25.00 USD / 15.00 UK; 320 pages) In The Eternal Paddy, Michael de Nie examines anti-Irish prejudice, Anglo-Irish relations, and the construction of Irish and British identities in nineteenth-century Britain. This book provides a new, more inclusive approach to the study of Irish identity as perceived by Britons and demonstrates that ideas of race were inextricably connected with class concerns and religious prejudice in popular views of both peoples. De Nie suggests that while traditional anti-Irish stereotypes were fundamental to British views of Ireland, equally important were a collection of sympathetic discourses and a self-awareness of British prejudice. In the pages of the British newspaper press, this dialogue created a deep ambivalence about the Irish people, an ambivalence that allowed most Britons to assume that the root of Ireland's difficulties lay in its Irishness. Drawing on more than ninety newspapers published in England, Scotland, and Wales, The Eternal Paddy offers the first major detailed analysis of British press coverage of Ireland over the course of the nineteenth century. This book traces the evolution of popular understandings and proposed solutions to the "Irish question," focusing particularly on the interrelationship between the press, the public, and the politicians. The work also engages with ongoing studies of imperialism and British identity, exploring the role of Catholic Ireland in British perceptions of their own identity and their empire. ----------------------------------- A Doctor’s War by Aidan MacCarthy (Paperback; 13.00 Euro / 16.50 USD / 10.00 UK; 160 pages) Researching McCarthy’s Bar Pete McCarthy entered MacCarthy’s Bar in Castletownbere, west Cork. While there Adrienne MacCarthy gave him a copy of her father’s wartime memoir. Pete found it ‘unputdownable’. An RAF medical officer, Aidan served in France, survived Dunkirk, and was plunged into adventures in the Far East. In 1944, en route to the Japanese mainland, his ship was torpedoed but a Japanese whaling boat picked him up and he was re-interned on the mainland. In Nagasaki his life was literally saved by the dropping of the atomic bomb and he was an eyewitness to the horror and devastation it caused. Finally, he cruised home on board the Queen Mary. ------------------------------------ New From Colourpoint Books: -------------------------- Passing Through: The 82nd Airborne Division in Northern Ireland 1943-44 by John P. McCann (Trade Paperback; 14.00 Euro / 18.00 USD / 10.00 UK; 128 pages, with full-colour and black-and-white illustrations throughout) On 9 December 1943 the first men of the United States 82nd Airborne Division set foot on Northern Irish soil. By the end of that day 12,000 of them had been disembarked from their ships and were being transported to camps throughout the Province. By March the following year, however, they had all moved on again, to England and something bigger - the final preparations for the invasion of Europe. As a child growing up in the small County Derry town of Castledawson, John McCann uncovered many ‘treasures’ in the family garden - an occasional tin can, the odd leather boot, an embossed button, a large buckle, the odd glass bottle, a few cooking pots of various sizes and bullets, yes bullets! These discoveries led him, in later years, to question their source and this book is the result of that questioning and four years hard research. In these pages John looks not just at the 82nd’s short stay in Northern Ireland but also its service in North Africa, Sicily and Italy and later the missions in France, Holland, Belgium and Germany beginning with D-Day on 6 June 1944, all told using the reminiscences of the men who proudly served with the 82nd Airborne Division. ---------------------------------- The Steam Age in Ireland: A Collection of Railway Art by The Lord O’Neill (Hardback; 45.00 Euro / 55.00 USD / 30.00 UK; 128 pages with full-colour and illustrations throughout) Few things are more evocative of a bygone era than a well-executed painting. The Steam Age in Ireland depicts the golden age of railway travel, bringing to life a period when most photographers used black and white film and when colour pictures were rare. Using art as a medium of communication allows us to play out our fantasies, creating scenes as we imagine them to have been. Between the covers of this book you will see many different styles and interpretations. Most of the artists are contemporary; most of the paintings are commissions - some for book covers, some for posters but the majority for private individuals who, for their own enjoyment, want a particular scene to be immortalised in a painting. These pictures allow us to recapture the trains of our youth, when, as well as passengers, the country railway conveyed cattle, coal, racing pigeons, letters and milk churns. -------------------------------------- Citybus: Belfast’s Buses 1973-1988 by Will Hughes (Trade Paperback; 25.00 Euro / 30.00 USD / 18.00 UK; 180 pages, with full-colour and black-and-white illustrations throughout) In this long-awaited addition to the Buses in Ulster series, Will Hughes looks at Belfast's red buses from the takeover in 1973 to the retirement of Managing Director Werner Heubeck in 1988. This was a difficult period for the new company, with many vehicles maliciously destroyed and passenger numbers in decline. It was, however, a time of much interest to the enthusiast with numerous vehicles acquired second-hand from operators throughout England - Daimler Fleetlines from Potteries Motor Traction and Northern General, AEC Merlins and Swifts from London and Eastern Coach Works-bodied Bristol REs from various National Bus Company subsidiaries. All of the types of vehicles operated are illustrated, as are some of the people who worked on them. Interesting asides are the sections on preserved former Citybus vehicles and those buses which operated in the city during the period covered and then moved 'Beyond Belfast'. ------------------------------------------ Car Ferries of the Irish Sea 1954-2004 by Justin Merrigan (Trade Paperback; 20.50 Euro / 25.00 UK / 16.00 UK; 168 pages, with full-colour and black-and-white illustrations throughout) At the Court of Inquiry into the loss of the Princess Victoria on 31 January 1953 it was declared that as the ship was, to some degree, experimental her owners should have kept a closer eye on the design and construction. Ship design has changed dramatically over the last fifty years and on the Irish Sea in 2004 we have the giant 208 metre long Ulysses, with capacity for 1875 passengers and 1342 cars and the Stena HSS ships, which are capable of more than 40 knots. In the pages of this book Justin Merrigan looks at the story of the Irish Sea car ferry since 1954. His research has uncovered much information and every ship is illustrated. Ro/Ro freight ships are outside the boundaries of this title, but as RoPax vessels are the modern day development of the freight vessel and passenger car ferry he has included a considerable number of these important ships, with passenger certificates in excess of 200 persons, which have appeared in these waters. ---------------------------- New from Devenish Press: ----------------------- Mystical Landscapes: Irish Images – Photographs by Tom Quinn Kumpf (28 Postcards; 6.00 Euro / 9.50 USD / 4.50 UK) This ancient land of misty hollows and humid light has been shaped by the forces of nature and the hand of man from the highest of the windswept highlands to the rain-blasted cliffs and strands of the coastline. (28 color images.) ------------------------------ Misty Places and Tranquil Light: Irish Images – Photographs by Tom Quinn Kumpf (28 Postcards; 6.00 Euro / 9.50 USD / 4.50 UK) Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle, a paradise of green, a place of rich and robust color. It is also a land of line, form, and constantly changing light. This makes it an ideal place to explore, slowly and intentionally, in black and white.(28 B&W images.) ----------------------------- The Burren: Irish Images – Photographs by Tom Quinn Kumpf (28 Postcards; 6.00 Euro / 9.50 USD / 4.50 UK) The Burren is an amazing expanse of limestone cliffs and plateaus in northwest County Clare. Lacking the lush greens which so distinguish Ireland, the grey limestone pavements often shock the first-time visitor with their severity and starkness. But the Burren is far from just the stony place its ancient name implies, and a closer look reveals a landscape full of life and vitality.(28 color images.) ------------------------------ Embracing the Magic: Irish Images – Photographs by Tom Quinn Kumpf (28 Postcards; 6.00 Euro / 9.50 USD / 4.50 UK) From the eerie starkness of the Burren highlands to the rain-lashed cliffs and strands of the coastline, Ireland speaks of strength, of resonance, of life. Every square inch of Irish turf has been pressed flat by the tread of a human foot. Every mountain and lough has been host to a hero, every new scene draws the soul to another, and in Ireland especially, every place name is linked to some special character or event in the past. (28 B&W images.) ----------------------------------- Highlights from Issue 311 ------------------------- Field Day Review 2005 edited by Seamus Deane and Breandan Mac Suibhne (Large Format Paperback; 35.00 Euro / 42.50 USD / 28.00 UK; 300 pages) This first issue of Field Day Review appears twenty-five years after the establishment of the Field Day Theatre Company by Brian Friel and Stephen Rea. Field Day has toured fourteen plays including world premières of celebrated works by Friel, Terry Eagleton, Thomas Kilroy, Derek Mahon, Stewart Parker and Tom Paulin. Field Day has also held many readings and lectures and has published some forty books including the fifteen Field Day Pamphlets (1983–88), Seamus Heaney’s Sweeney Astray, the five-volume Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, and Critical Conditions (1995–2005), a series of sixteen books of essays by literary critics, historians and geographers. ------------------------------- Towards Ireland Free: The West Cork Brigade in the War of Independence 1917-21 by Liam Deasy (Trade Paperback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 366 pages) In the War of Independence, military leaders such as Michael Collins, Liam Lynch and Liam Deasy secured Irish independence from a country that had seemingly limitless resources of men, money and arms. The British, however, lacked the one thing which the Irish possessed in abundance: a burning conviction in the justice of their cause. First published in 1973, this book is the story of one of those leaders. Liam Deasy was just 20 at the time of the 1916 Easter Rising. He enrolled in the Volunteers in Bandon in 1917 and by 1921 was in command of the West Cork Brigade. In this account, he vividly recreates the tense and hope-filled atmosphere of those years and provides a rich gallery of portraits of those in the company of whom he fought. He also recounts, in great detail, famous episodes such as the successful attack on the British Naval Sloop in Bantry, Howes Strand and Ballycrovane Coastguard Stations, the ambushes at Kilmichael and Cross barry and the raid on Fastnet Rock. --------------------------------- The Sea by John Banville (Hardback; 20.00 Euro / 26.00 USD / 14.00 UK; 264 pages) The brilliant new novel by the Booker-shortlisted author of Shroud and The Book of Evidence, John Banville is, quite simply, one of the greatest novelists writing in the English language today. When Max Morden returns to the coastal town where he spent a holiday in his youth he is both escaping from a recent loss and confronting a distant trauma. The Grace family appear that long ago summer as if from another world. Drawn to the Grace twins, Chloe and Myles, Max soon finds himself entangled in their lives, which are as seductive as they are unsettling. What ensues will haunt him for the rest of his years and shape everything that is to follow. John Banville is one of the most sublime writers working in the English language. Utterly compelling, profoundly moving and illuminating, The Sea is quite possibly the best thing he has ever written. -------------------------------------- Sheela-Na-Gigs: Unravelling an Enigma by Barbara Freitag (Paperback; 35.00 Euro / 45.00 USD / 25.00 UK; 210 pages) An air of mystery has surrounded the crude carvings of naked females, called Sheela-na-gigs, since their scholarly discovery some one hundred and sixty years ago. Especially puzzling is the fact that they occur predominantly in medieval religious buildings. High-minded clergymen have since defaced or destroyed many of these carvings, and for a long time archaeologists dismissed them as rude and repulsive. Only in the less puritanical atmosphere of the last few decades have academics and artists turned their interest to Sheela-na-gigs. Divergent views emerged: some see them as ancient goddesses, some as vestiges of a pagan cult, others as protective talismans or Christian warnings against lust. Here Barbara Freitag examines all the literature on the subject, highlighting the inconsistencies of the various interpretations in regard to origin, function and name. By considering the Sheela-na-gigs in their medieval social context, she suggests that they were folk deities with particular responsibility for assistance in childbirth. This fascinating survey sheds new light on this controversial phenomenon, and also contains a complete catalogue of all known Sheela-na-gigs, including hitherto unrecorded or unpublished figures. --------------------------------------- Early Celtic Art in Britain and Ireland by Ruth and Vincent Megaw (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 80 pages) This widely praised introduction, now extensively revised and enlarged, examines the predominantly warrior and aristocraftic art of the Iron Age inhabitants of Britain and Ireland from the fourth century BC until the Roman conquest. Since these communities, conventionally referred to as Celts, were peoples with an oral tradition, medieval Irish and Welsh texts embodying these traditions are a very uncertain guide to the life and culture of peoples of upwards of a millennium earlier. Celtic art is thus one of the rare, if obscured, windows into the minds and souls of early Celts. Much of the surviving art decorates metalwork, usually weapons or items of personal adornment; there is little or no securely dated sculpture, whether in stone or wood. This is an art style whose imagery is elusive, non-representational and non-narrative, and thus difficult to analyse. This book looks at Celtic art made by communities who lived in Britain and Ireland a thousand years and more before the creation of the Book of Kells or the Ardagh Chalice, the art which is more popularly known as 'Celtic'. ------------------------------------ Prehistoric Stone Circles by Aubrey Burl (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 80 pages) Stone circles have excited the imagination of their visitors ever since the time of John Aubrey, the seventeenth century antiquarian who was the first person to study them seriously. For three hundred years archaeologists, astronomers and anthropologists have aruged about the purpose of these abandoned rings. Modern excavations have showsn that the earliest circles were erected over five thousand tyears ago and that often sightlines were built into them towards the sun or moon. This book describes these rings, including Stonehenge, explains their history and the facts known about them, and shows how we are gradually coming to an understanding of the significance these gaunt, grey circles had to their builders. ---------------------------------- Prehistoric Astronomy and Ritual by Aubrey Burl (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 80 pages) Stonehenge was not an observatory used by druidical astronomer-priests. It was, instead, a monument in which the moon and the sun and the dead were joined together. In this book the author, a well-known archaeologist, explains how people in the British Isles, four thousand or more years ago, identified life and death with the cycle of midwinter and midsummer and with the risings and settings of the sun and moon. The book describes how astronomical customs developed in the British Isles. Unlike other works about ‘megalithic astronomy’, technical explanations about azimuths and declinations are kept to their simplest. The emphasis here is upon people rather than perturbations and eclipses. --------------------------- Searching for Home by Mary Stanley (Paperback; 10.00 Euro / 13.00 USD / 7.00 UK; 374 pages) Losing their parents in a freak war-time plane crash, Amelia and her fiercely angry, bereaved older sister are rescued by their aunt Lucy, and their grandparents, a wonderfully eccentric British couple from colonial India, who are also scarred by the war. Moving from 1940s Ireland, through post-war England, Malta and London in the 1960s and 1970s, Mary Stanley’s new novel is a beautifully observant tale about survival, self-discovery and falling in love. ----------------------------------- Thank you for your continued support, which is vital for the continuation of this service! I respectfully request that if you are considering ordering any of these books that you do so through Read Ireland. I very much appreciate your custom. To order books from the Read Ireland Book Review - simply return the Newsletter by clicking your reply button. Please delete 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: or We have added a new feature to the Read Ireland website. It is a page listing ONLY the newest books added to or updated on the website. This new feature page will itself be superseded at least 3 times per month. It is the perfect way to keep abreast of what is happening in the world of Irish Interest publishing. Please visit often! If we can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you very much for your continued support and custom. Sincerely, Gregory Carr @ Read Ireland
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?