In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English

In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English

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by Carmel McCaffrey, Leo Eaton
     
 

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This engaging book traces the history, archaeology, and legends of ancient Ireland from 9000 B.C., when nomadic hunter-gatherers appeared in Ireland at the end of the last Ice Age to 1167 A.D., when a Norman invasion brought the country under control of the English crown for the first time. So much of what people today accept as ancient Irish history—Celtic

Overview

This engaging book traces the history, archaeology, and legends of ancient Ireland from 9000 B.C., when nomadic hunter-gatherers appeared in Ireland at the end of the last Ice Age to 1167 A.D., when a Norman invasion brought the country under control of the English crown for the first time. So much of what people today accept as ancient Irish history—Celtic invaders from Euproe turning Ireland into a Celtic nation; St. Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland and converting its people to Christianity—is myth and legend with little basis in reality. The truth is more interesting. The Irish, as the authors show, are not even Celtic in an archaeological sense. And there were plenty of bishops in Ireland before a British missionary called Patrick arrived. But In Search of Ancient Ireland is not simply the story of events from long ago. Across Ireland today are festivals, places, and folk customs that provide a tangible link to events thousands of years past. The authors visit and describe many of these places and festivals, talking to a wide variety of historians, scholars, poets, and storytellers in the very settings where history happened. Thus the book is also a journey on the ground to uncover ten thousand years of Irish identity. In Search of Ancient Ireland is the official companion to the three-part PBS documentary series. With 14 black-and-white photos, 6 b&w illustrations, and 1 map.

Editorial Reviews

Lawrence J. McCafferey
Well-written...informative...new and fascinating material challenging many myths. (Lawrence J. McCafferey, Emeritus Professor Of History, Loyola University Of Chicago)
Terry Golway
Your search for the roots of Irish history and culture begins here, with this marvelous book.
New York Observer
Irish Connections
The excellent...new book...journeys across the centuries to...uncover the real story behind the island nation's rich global legacy.
Richmond Times-Dispatch
In bite-sized morsels that accommodate the busy lives of modern readers Search tells us about both the major figures central to momentous events and the daily lives of commoners.
Library Bookwatch
As much as can be excavated or deduced of ancient history is superbly featured with a wealth of fine detail in this fascinating and highly readable resource.
Bostonirish.com
...An illuminating look at the new finds and scholarship and their place in Ireland's past.... The deft and meticulously researched prose...brings ancient Ireland to vivid life.
Carroll County Times
A great story, interesting to read and appealing to anyone with an interest in Ireland...A readable history...poignant, not pedantic.
— Virigina Garnett
Lawrence J. McCaffrey
Well-written...informative...new and fascinating material challenging many myths.
The New York Observer - Terry Golway
Your search for the roots of Irish history and culture begins here, with this marvelous book.
Bostonirish.Com
...An illuminating look at the new finds and scholarship and their place in Ireland's past.... The deft and meticulously researched prose...brings ancient Ireland to vivid life.
Carroll County Times - Virigina Garnett
A great story, interesting to read and appealing to anyone with an interest in Ireland...A readable history...poignant, not pedantic.
Carroll County Times - Virginia Garnett
A great story, interesting to read and appealing to anyone with an interest in Ireland...A readable history...poignant, not pedantic.
The Bookwatch
...A clearly recommended pick for anyone interested in an updated, scholarly research tool covering the latest truths about Irish history.... Provides an important gateway to understanding early Irish roots.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781461655695
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
06/11/2003
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
237,628
File size:
11 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

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What People are saying about this

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH
In bite-sized morsels that accommodate the busy lives of modern readers Search tells us about both the major figures central to momentous events and the daily lives of commoners.
LIBRARY BOOKWATCH
As much as can be excavated or deduced of ancient history is superbly featured with a wealth of fine detail in this fascinating and highly readable resource.
THE BOOKWATCH
...A clearly recommended.... Provides an important gateway to understanding early Irish roots.
Peter Fitzgerald
This is not a typical scholarly examination of ancient Ireland. Ms. McCaffrey, accompanied by experts from the various periods, takes the reader on a journey through the Island visiting many of the most important historical sites. And much is to be learned as the most current research is shared. However, the most appealing aspect of the work is McCaffrey's beautifully descriptive reports from the places visited; she incorporates easy to understand discussion into vivid prose that seems to rise from the page & take hold of the reader. Highlights include Patrick's first wanderings & the beginnings of Christianity in the 5th century; life in the monasteries as monks build communities while diligently reproducing & preserving the great illuminated manuscripts--the visits to Clonmacnoise & Skelligmichael are particularly engaging; the Viking raids, which have never before been told with so much realism--the logistics of these sea & inlet manouvers left me with a new understanding of the terror inflicted on the native Irish, as well the way these raiders eventually came to shape Irish identity. Much of that period reads like a well crafted novel. If you want to become well versed in Irish history from the very beginning to 1171, this is your book. Highest rating. (When's the sequel?)

Meet the Author

Carmel McCaffrey lectures on Irish history, literature, culture, and language at Johns Hopkins University. A native of Dublin, she founded the literary review Wild About Wilde. She has also written In Search of Ireland's Heroes. She is a Gaelic speaker and frequently travels back to Ireland. She lives in Mt. Airy, Maryland.

Leo Eaton has produced, written, and directed television and film in Europe and the United States for thirty years and has received many of television's major awards. London-born, he lives in New Windsor, Maryland.

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In Search of Ancient Ireland 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ancient Ireland revealed. Paleolithic to 12c AD. Interesting and well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago