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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Read Ireland

Read Ireland Book Review – Issue 372 ------------------------------------ Kicking a Dead Horse by Sam Shepard (Paperback; 12 Euro / 16 USD / 9 UK) This striking new play tells the story of one man’s quest for authenticity. The play continues Dublin’s Abbey Theatre’s exploration of Sam Shepard’s work and the theatre’s commitment to Shepard as one of the most important playwrights of his generation. The play was written for the Abbey Theatre and the celebrated Irish actor Stephen Rea, and was first performed on the Abbey’s Peacock Stage on 12 March, 2007. ----------------------------- Casement by Angus Mitchell (Paperback; 15 Euro / 20 USD / 11 UK; 186 pages) Roger Casement (1864-1916) is remembered in England as a "traitor", but passionately revered in Ireland as a founding father of the Irish State. By 1913, with an international reputation as a savior of the oppressed in Africa and South America, Sir Roger Casement resigned from the Foreign Office and devoted himself openly to the cause of Irish independence. He was a founder of the Irish Volunteers and soon after the outbreak of World War I traveled to Germany to seek international guarantees for Irish independence. Returning to Ireland in 1916, he was arrested on the eve of the Easter Rising, given a state trial in London and executed for high treason. Since his execution, Roger Casement’s place in history has become a riddle entwined in the waging of war followed by the delicate negotiation of peace that has defined Anglo-Irish politics. Was Roger Casement’s rebellious nature motivated as much by his ‘incorrigible’ Irishness as by his exposure of the appalling crimes against humanity that he witnessed in Africa and South America? -------------------------- Wilde by Jonathan Fryer (Paperback; 15 Euro / 20 USD / 11 UK; 160 pages) This is one title in a series of short, illustrated biographies. They tell the stories of those who have shaped our present and our past, from Beethoven to Dietrich and from Einstein to Churchill. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), self-styled master of the "bon mot" turned Victorian bogeyman, was resurrected by a more liberal age as St Oscar, slayer of the dragons of pomposity, hypocrisy and cant. The big Irishman with the golden tongue had posthumously proved that the world is not black and white. His wit and paradoxes were understood as profound and moral and his best plays were recognized as gems of English comedy. As unrepentant Wildean Jonathan Fryer shows, Wilde had a genius for extremes. Only the mediocre and the tedious were excluded. ------------------------------- For the Love of My Mother by J.P. Rodgers (Trade Paperback; Publishers Recommended Price: 20 Euro. Read Ireland Book Review Special Price: 16 Euro / 21 USD / 12 UK; 410 pages) "For the Love of My Mother" is the tragic and uplifting story of one Irish mother and her son. Born into a life of poverty and detained at the tender age of two for begging in the streets, Bridget Rodgers proceeded to spend the next 30 years of her life locked away in one institution or another. The orphanage came first but after being raped and falling pregnant, she was sent to a home for unmarried mothers where she gave birth, had her son taken away from her and then was sent to one of the infamous Magdalen Laundries. And that really is only the beginning of the story. A truly gripping tale told by the son she thought she'd lost for ever, it is a story of triumphing over poverty, a tale of hope when there seems to be none, and a tribute to a mother's love for her son. ------------------------------- Ireland: This Land is Ours by Lewis Elia (Trade Paperback; 20 Euro / 26 USD / 13 UK; 250 pages) Michael Davitt was born in Straide, County Mayo, Ireland in 1846 at the height of the "Great Hunger". Overcoming many hardships, he rose to become an international figure and one of Ireland's most beloved patriots. This fictionalized biography brings back to life the beginning of the fight for Irish independence. Travel the journey with Michael Davitt as he struggles to break the power of the landlords and take Ireland out of the feudal system imposed upon the country by the British aristocracy. ------------------------------------- Empire of Analogies: Kipling, India and Ireland by Kaori Nagai (Hardback; 40 Euro / 52 USD / 28 UK; 190 pages) Starting from the analysis of the Irish characters in Kipling's Indian stories, this book shows that the representation of the British Empire was greatly indebted to analogies and comparisons made between colonies. It contrasts two different ways of making colonial analogies: 'imperialist' and 'nationalist'. Kipling, as a young journalist, was keenly aware of the fact that Indian and Irish nationalists drew analogies between each other's colonial situation to make the case for self-government and British misrule, and his repeated emphasis on Irish participation in the Raj can be seen as a powerful 'imperialist' counter-representation to these subversive analogies. With this framework in mind, this book traces how Kipling's representation of Empire changed over time as he moved away from India and also how the hegemony of British imperialism faltered toward the end of the nineteenth century. This book makes a major contribution to post-colonialism studies in general and to the comparative study of Ireland and India in particular. --------------------------------- Ireland Painted by Marie Hennessy (Small Gift Hardback; 10 Euro / 13.50 USD / 7 UK; 72 pages, with full colour illustrations throughout) Paintings are the ideal form in which to capture the lush green landscapes, the barren wildness and the ever-changing skies of Ireland. They are soft and atmospheric, or wild and moody, like the place they describe. Here, the artist paints the landscape she knows intimately. From Antrim to Wexford, Kerry to Mayo, she encapsulates the feel of Ireland through its well-known places and its obscure, secret corners. The pictures are enhanced by an evocative text which captures the essence of the land and its people. --------------------------------- Living and Working in Ireland 2ed by Joe Laredo (Large Format Paperback; 23 Euro / 30 USD / 16 UK; 555 pages) This book is the most comprehensive guide available to anyone hoping or planning to live in Ireland. --------------------------------- Irish-English Dictionary from Geddes & Grosset (Small Format with Plastic Cover; 6 Euro / 9 USD / 4 UK) A new compact Irish-English dictionary with over 20,000 heardwords. ----------------- New in Paperback: ----------------- The Emergency: Neutral Ireland 1939-45 by Brian Girvin (Paperback; 14 Euro / 19 USD / 10 UK; 385 pages) Brian Girvin has written a fresh and original history of Ireland between 1939 and 1945. Drawing on new sources and recent scholarship, he tells the story of what is known as The Emergency in Ireland, but elsewhere as the Second World War. Despite Ireland still being a member of the Commonwealth, Eamon de Valera refused to join the war against Nazi Germany and declared his country neutral. This decision, Girvin concludes, cost de Valera his ultimate prize: a united Ireland. Woven into this political maelstrom are the stories of the people who lived through those years, those that went against the Government and fought for the allies and those, who even if they disagreed, were not easily allowed to express that opinion. --------------- Available Again: --------------- Irish Family Feuds: Battles Over Money, Sex and Power by Liam Collins (Trade Paperback; 15 Euro / 20 USD / 11 UK; 260 pages) Ireland is a land of feuds. People quarrel over money and love but the most destructive disputes arise when family members fall out. In this book the author explores the deeply divisive boardroom battles that have shaken some of Ireland’s wealthiest and best-known families. But it isn’t all about money and power. Passion plays its part and sometimes leaves a bitter legacy that is never healed. When a husband ran off with a younger women his scorned wife planned her revenge, taking care to cause him lasting damage. A child born to a businessman and his new mistress provoked a family feud that has lasted many generations. When sex, money and power collide, the results can be catastrophic for the feuding clan. The author looks at cases that have hit the headlines and delves into the secret world of feuding families. The first printing sold out in a few weeks and this new revised edition is likely to do the same – very quickly! ----------------------------- Stone Mad by Seamus Murphy (Trade Paperback; 15 Euro / 20 USD / 11 UK; 230 pages) Memories of seven years as an apprentice stonecarver by a craftsman/artist who became one of Ireland's most repsected sculptors. The young Seamus Murphy, studying modelling at the Crawford School of Art in Cork in the early 1920s, took the unusual step of apprenticing himself to a master stonecarver to learn the ancient craft of the mason. 'Stone Mad' tells the story of the seven years of growing knowledge of the challenges and joys of stone - and of the men who worked it. His artistic feeling for quality responded to his workmates' reverence for the'well-made thing', their insistence on the making of the hand before the mind and heart could properly speak. The result is a book of surpassing beauty, full of warmth, humour and perception. 'A delightful and classically simple book that incidentally strikes far deeper than its subject implies. In the sharply formal conversations of the stonemen the bitter-sweet flavour of provincial Ireland is presented with neither sentiment nor adornment; there are lines to read between, and it's a pleasure to do so.' William Trevor, Guardian ----------------------------------- Fear of the Collar: My Terrifying Chidhood in Artane by Patrick Touher (Paperback; 12 Euro / 16 USD / 9 UK) Life in Artane Industrial School was an education in cruelty and fear. Run by the Christian Brothers, the school has become synonymous with the widespread abuse of children in Ireland in the 1940s and 1950s and is currently under police investigation. Patrick Touher's story bears testament to the courage and determination of the children who were forgotten by society. Sent there at age eight, Patrick Touher spent eight long years in Artane Industrial School under the oppressive rule of the Christian Bothers. ----------------------------------- Highlights from the Previous Issue: ----------------------------------- Issue 371 – Irish History ------------------------- Dublin’s Nazi No. 1: The Life of Adolf Mahr by Gerry Mullins (Trade Paperback; 17 Euro / 23 USD / 12 UK; 253 pages) In the 1930s, Dr Adolf Mahr was head of the National Museum of Ireland, where he earned the title .the father of Irish archaeology.. He was also the head of the Nazi Party in Ireland, and was dubbed .Dublin Nazi No. 1.. Under pressure from Irish and British military intelligence, he left for Germany shortly before the outbreak of war in 1939, never to return. To this day, he is considered in some circles to have been a spy who used his position at the museum to help prepare Germany.s invasion plan of Ireland. During the war, he became director of Irland-Redaktion, the German propaganda radio service that broadcast into neutral Ireland. He was later arrested and tortured by the British, and upon his release tried to return to Ireland, but to no avail. He remains one of the most controversial figures in twentieth-century Irish history. The book also tells the story of Hilde Mahr, Adolf.s eldest daughter, who had been a member of Hitler Youth in Ireland before being trapped in Germany when the war began. She was drafted into the National Labour Force, was stationed on the roofs of Berlin buildings during air-raids, and several times came close to death. ---------------------------------- Left to the Wolves: Irish Victims of Stalinist Terror by Barry McLoughlin (Trade Paperback; 30 Euro / 39 USD / 24 UK; 294 pages) Between the end of the Russian Civil War in 1921 and Stalin's death in 1953, the Soviet secret police sentenced over 4 million persons on political grounds. Over 800,000 were shot and millions died in the slave camps of the Gulag system. At the height of the mass-repression - the Great Terror of 1937/38 - foreigners were in great jeopardy. Knowing that a major war was coming, Iosif Stalin and his cohorts decided to rid Soviet society of all perceived or potential 'enemies'. Among the putative 'Fifth Columnists' were non-Russian ethnic minorities, political refugees from fascism and foreign-born Communists. At least three of these countless victims were of Irish nationality. This book describes their social background, how and why they entered the semi-clandestine world of Communism and the reasons for their residence in the USSR. Patrick Breslin was a graduate of the International Lenin School who turned to journalism and translating. Brian Goold-Verschoyle's visits to Moscow were periodic until his masters in the Soviet espionage service sent him to the Spanish cockpit in 1937. Finally, Sean McAteer was given political refugee status in the new Russia in 1923 after his flight from Scotland Yard. He used his language skills to proselytize sailors for the world revolution or to teach students the rudiments of English in exotic Odessa. Each man in turn knew by time of arrest that the secret police NKVD rarely released or acquitted anybody; and the fabricated charges they were faced with increased their sense of isolation and hopelessness. This realisation was all the more bitter considering the faith they had placed in the Soviet experiment. -------------------------------------- In Search of Ireland’s Heroes: The Story of the Irish from the English Invasion to the Present Day by Carmel McCaffrey (Hardback; 25 Euro / 30 USD / 17 UK; 290 pages) In this engaging sequel to her previous book, In Search of Ancient Ireland, Carmel McCaffrey tells the story of the struggle between English and Irish aspirations in the centuries since the first English incursions into Ireland in the twelfth century. This is a narrative history filled with powerful personalities and families who fought in battle and through constitutional means to free Ireland from English control. With an extensive use of original sources--letters, personal accounts, and parliamentary documents--Ms. McCaffrey brings these individuals to life and tells their story. We meet the intrepid O'Neills, the colorful O'Donnells, the wily Fitzgeralds, and many others whose passion for freedom and for Ireland could not be conquered. The Irish, as the book recounts, struggled over many generations to hold on to ancient lands only to lose their fight in the Elizabethan wars. In the early 1600s the ancient Irish Brehon laws were extinguished, and it seemed as if the Gaelic past had been washed from memory. Yet the story of Irish determination did not end there. Other generations took up the effort to establish an Irish parliament free of English control that would answer the needs of all citizens. With extensive use of original source material from Parliamentary records, personal accounts and letters McCaffrey brings to this stirring history the same adroitness that prompted Terry Golway of the New York Observer to call her first book marvelous...fine storytelling and analysis. With 25 black-and-white photographs and a map. ---------------------------------- Masters of Irish Music by Liam Gaul (Trade Paperback; 18 Euro / 25 USD / 13 UK; 130 pages, with black-and-white photos throughout) A collection of some thirty profiles, "Masters of Irish Music", which appeared periodically in "Ireland's Own" some time ago, aims to gives readers an overview of some of the most interesting and important figures in Irish music. It can be dipped into, used as a work of reference - for writing or preparing programme notes for a concert, for example - or simply read from cover to cover. All of the people profiled have passed on, leaving new generations to take up the challenge of continuing the work started by these masters of Irish music, and the men and women featured in this book can be an inspiration to them. ---------------------------------- Weaving Tapestry in Rural Ireland by Meghan Nuttal Sayres with photographs by Laurence Boland (Hardback; 40 Euro / 54 USD / 26 UK; 200 pages, with full colour and black-and-white photos throughout) "Weaving Tapestry in Rural Ireland", this account of the Donegal weaving co-operative features accounts of the various processes; as well as interviews with weavers, spinners and dyers; and has 103 colour photographs of tapestries. This book brings into focus key aspects of our heritage and shows how traditional skills were adopted to produce modern tapestries of great beauty and originality. "Weaving Tapestry in Rural Ireland" contributes to the preservation of regional culture in the Gaeltacht, the Irish-speaking sections of western Ireland. The weavers believe their work is of importance because "large chunks of our cultural heritage have been lost with the passing of just one generation." Traditional methods of wool production are presented in this book along with folklore, myth and local archaeology which influences the weavers' practices, tapestry design, self-perceptions and identities as artists and mentors within their communities. Also included is a documentation of the natural materials-plants and sea life-that their ancestors used in dye recipes for the yarns in their sweaters and tweeds. --------------------------------- Classics in Irish History Series: --------------------------------- An Essay on Irish Bulls by Maria Edgeworth (Paperback; 20 Euro / 27 USD / 14 UK; 152 pages) First published in 1802, "An Essay on Irish Bulls" was intended to show the English public the talent and wit of the Irish lower classes. Originally devised by Maria's father, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Irish Bulls is an informal philosophic dialogue on the nature of Bulls (logical absurdities) and jokes and jests in general. Published at the time of the Union, the overarching theme is the confusions of identity and the relationship of Irish people to the English. This highly entertaining work has not been published as a single book since the nineteenth century. The editorial material and text for this edition are reproduced from the "Pickering & Chatto Novels" and "Selected Works of Maria Edgeworth", vol. 1. New introduction for this edition is by Jane Desmarais. ------------------------------- The Open Secret of Ireland by Thomas Kettle (Paperback; 20 Euro / 27 USD / 14 UK; 122 pages) The Open Secret of Ireland", published in 1912, consists of articles primarily focused on Home Rule, offering both historical and contemporary analyses. The collection includes three articles focused on Unionism, particularly on Ulster Unionism, and Kettle's description of 'The Hallucination of Ulster' provides a fascinating insight into nationalist ideas about the fragility of the unionist bloc and the unreasonableness of their cause. This revealing and intriguing collection offers many insights into the motivations of the old Home Rule generation, convinced that their day had come and utterly unaware of the radical course Irish politics were to take in the next ten years. This edition includes an original introduction by John Redmond. It contains a new introduction by Senia Paseta. ----------------------------------- The Philosophy of Irish Ireland by D.P. Moran (Paperback; 20 Euro / 27 USD / 14 UK; 126 pages) First published between 1898 and 1900 as a series of articles in the "New Ireland Review", "The Philosophy of Irish Ireland" was the most forceful manifesto produced by that section of the Gaelic Revival movement which saw Irish identity as inextricably Catholic and Gaelic. The book addresses the growing Catholic professional class educated in secondary schools run by religious orders, and attempts to instil a collective consciousness in this nascent elite. It shows that the Gaelic Revival would not inevitably lead to separatism; it could also be deployed in the service of an aggressively reinvented less deferential 'Catholic Whig' politics. It includes a new introduction by Patrick Maume. ---------------- Available Again: ---------------- Vanishing Ireland by James Fennell and Turtle Bunbury (Large Format Hardback; 30 Euro / 39 USD / 24 UK; 180 pages, with black-and-white photos throughout) "Vanishing Ireland" is a unique collection of portrait interviews looking at the dying ways and traditions of Irish life and taking us back to an Ireland virtually unrecognisable to today's post-boom generation. Illustrated with over a hundred evocative and stunning photographs, we meet the people and customs that shaped the cultural identity of the Irish nation. Through their own words and memories, sixty-four men and women transport us back to a time when people lived off the land and the sea, when music and storytelling were essential parts of life, when a person was defined by their trade. Divided into five parts - Children of the Field, Children of the Music, Children of the Horse, Children of the Trade and Children of the Water - "Vanishing Ireland" brings together the stories of those who lived through Ireland's formative years. We hear of children harassed by the Black and Tans, of ceilis in kitchens, and the rigours of working in the fields, of the wonder of electricity and the devastation of emigration. From coalminers to saddlers, farmers to fishermen, along with horse dealers, publicans, housemaids and musicians - these remarkably poignant interviews and photographs, in their simplicity and honesty, will make you laugh and cry but, above all, will provide a valuable chronicle that connects twenty-first century Ireland to a rapidly disappearing world. ------------------------------- Only a Couple Copies Remaining: ------------------------------- Between the Mountains and the Sea: Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County by Peter Pearson (Hardback (Now Out of Print): 40 Euro / 52 USD / 30 UK; Illustrated with over 700 photographs, old prints, maps, etchings. 378 pages) Dublin city is blessed in its location, between the splendid Dublin/Wicklow mountains and the beautiful Dublin bay, and in this setting the hinterland of the city has grown over the centuries into a rich heritage of inner and outer suburbs as important as the city centre itself. In this book, Pearson tells of the geographical, economic and social history of this area, its famous inhabitants, its agricultural development, methods of transport, sport and recreational aspects, but most of all he details the architectural heritage of the county which is studded with riches from many different eras, and with the most desirable homes in the country. ------------------------------------ Thank you for your continued support. It is vital for the continuation of this service! If you appreciate receiving these regular emails, I respectfully request that if you are considering ordering any of these books that you do so through Read Ireland. Using these emails to order books from other suppliers does NOT support Read Ireland nor the continuation of the service. I very much appreciate your patronage. 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 LEAVE the books you DO WANT to order. Please note that prices for these books on the Read Ireland website may differ from those quoted above. Alternatively, you can send an email to the order department at: Please be sure to include your full mailing address and credit card details including expiration date. You might like to split this information into 2 or 3 emails for security. 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 Please visit often! If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you very much for your continued support and custom. Sincerely, Gregory Carr @ Read Ireland
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